HC Deb 01 July 1878 vol 241 cc500-73

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [24th June], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

And which Amendment was, To leave out the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "in the opinion of this House, the slaughter at the ports of landing of all fat cattle from the Continent would restrict the supply and increase the cost of food, and should therefore not be made compulsory under all circumstances by Act of Parliament,"—(Mr. William Edward, Forster,) —instead thereof.

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

Debate resumed.


said, he desired to lay before the House the reasons which had induced him to support the Bill. It appeared to him the Government had undertaken an invidious duty in bringing forward that measure. They had been attacked out-of-doors most unfairly, and their motives had been that if the foot-and-mouth disease existed at all in that county, it did so to the very smallest possible extent; and they said, and fairly—"What is the use of clearing this country of disease by your restrictions, if you let in another stream of disease upon it from foreign countries?" There should, in fact, be mutual concessions made on the part of the foreign importer and on that of the home producer, and concurrent action. Desperate diseases required desperate remedies, and what the farmers said was—"If you will help us in one way, we will help you in another." The question had been raised whether disease could be stamped out by restrictions, however severe, and various opinions, speculative and theoretical, had been quoted on the subject; among others some expressed by Professor Brown, confessedly a very high authority. But Professor Brown could only give an opinion like other people. There were opinions just as good on the other side. But there was also the opinion of Professor Brown himself on the other side. In 1873 Professor Brown, in his Report which appeared in The Royal Agricultural Society's Journal for 1874, said— Our position as an importing country forbids us to hope for an eradication of the distemper, after more than 30 years' constant experience, by the adoption here of measures on its first appearance in the country; And he went on to say— Nor could we expect its non-importation, unless we consented to hamper the foreign trade by insisting on the slaughter at the places of landing of all foreign cattle imported. Well, that was Professor Brown's opinion, and it was strongly in favour of the legislation now proposed. Professor Brown then proceeded to show that restrictive measures in this country had been effectual in the diminution of foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia, and added that— For a period of six months in 1867 the disease was seldom seen in the Metropolitan districts, and a like immunity was enjoyed by cattle all over the country. Why, then, if they could rely on these statements, should not like measures in each case be now attended with like beneficial results? The more subtle the poison was, the more stringent ought to be the measures adopted. It was a fact that the disease had always first shown itself within a radius of certain ports—such as Harwich, Deptford, and Hull—indicating clearly from what quarter the disease came; for Professor Brown further reported that in 1875 foot-and-mouth disease was widely spread on the Continent, and that in one month no fewer than 1,600 diseased foreign animals were landed at our various ports. Mr. Duguid, veterinary officer of the Royal Agricultural Society, had made statements to the same effect, showing that while restrictions had saved the English flocks and herds from danger to a great extent, our Continental neighbours had had to contend with widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease. All the statements that had been made by eminent authorities tended to show that great risk was run by the importation of foreign cattle, and that where restrictive measures had been enforced the disease had not spread. Cause and effect followed directly, and evidence both of a positive and negative character placed the matter out of the region of doubt. The gravity of the question was not to be judged of by the death-rate. It was a question of barrenness, of loss in parturition, and of falling-off in condition, entailing the re-fatting the cattle. He could see no reason why the experience and the feelings of those who had knowledge of, and were interested in, this question should be ignored; nor could he regard as friends to the country those who advised the Government to stand by in an attitude of apathy and indifference when a question like the one now under discussion was brought forward. As far as he was personally concerned, he certainly should not support the Bill if he did not believe that it would enable the home producers of meat to produce it in larger quantity and at a lower price than was the case at present. When the Bill was discussed last, it was stated that it would not be possible to import either live or dead meat from America in good condition during the months of July and August, owing to the fact that the vessels had to cross the Gulf Stream. Since the delivery of the speech in which this statement was made, he had cut out of The Standard of Saturday a letter from Mr. Gillett, giving some facts as to the importation of American meat to Europe, and stating that he had imported that misrepresented by active political organizations, who, desirous to discredit the Government, started the cry that this was a re-actionary measure. He held that after the Report of the Select Committee of last year, the Government had really no alternative but to introduce the Bill. He congratulated the House on the practical harmony that had prevailed on both sides, or, rather, the absence of anything like heated feeling during the discussions; and he thought the harmony of their proceedings might be traced to the moderate tone of the speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford. Only in the minds of some fervid people outside the House was it really believed that the Government wished, by a side wind, to re-introduce Protection. Those who said that there was any analogy whatever between the present Bill and the measures which were formerly supposed to support what was called protection to native industry must be either very shallow reasoners, or be very ignorant of the subject. The real question for consideration raised by the Bill was, how Parliament could best secure an ample supply of meat at a moderate price. That was mainly a consumers' question, and if he were to go into statistics, he thought he could prove that statement to the satisfaction of the House. But he was not going into statistics. They had been quoted over and over again, and he thought they could draw direct deductions from them which would not mislead them. He denied that it was to the interests of the farmers to keep up the present high price of meat. He had said that it was a consumers' question. They knew there had been a diminution of the number of cattle in the country, and they knew also that the price of food had increased. He contended that such diminution had occurred in consequence of imported disease. What the farmer said was this—"We are suffering now from the effects of these diseases. Our confidence has been destroyed. Only help us to carry on our business as we wish, and we care nothing for importation of dead meat or live cattle so long as they do not bring with them disease, which has been so prejudicial to us for years past. Only give us this security, and we undertake to give the people of this country food at a fair price." All that was wanted for that purpose was precaution, and it was to be found in the Bill. All the Chambers of Agriculture had pronounced in its favour, and he should like to ask this question—whether the unanimity which had prevailed throughout the agricultural body in the country ought to be ignored? It might be said that they were personally interested; but he had heard no one impute to the agricultural interest that this movement had been brought forward for the purpose of putting money into their own pockets, and that if they drove out the competition caused by the foreign cattle, the price of meat would be raised to their advantage. There never was a greater fallacy The farmers were not benefited, and could not be benefited, by the high prices of meat. Fair remunerative prices were better for them than extravagant prices. It should be remembered that when the price of meat was high, the price of store cattle was far beyond the proportion that the manufactured meat produced. What the farmers wanted was security for the carrying on of their business with freedom from those fatal diseases to which their stock was now subject. The diminution of cattle by disease had been admitted. The right hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Playfair) had endeavoured to explain the diminution away, by saying that it did not arise from the fact that want of capital prevented the farming interest from running the risk of breeding stock—which was the cause assigned by the farming interest—but because farmers had to sell their cattle in order that they might pay their rent. That might have happened in one or two cases; but he defied anyone to say that that was the general cause. The agriculturists had expressed their willingness to submit themselves to any measure, however stringent, which might be deemed necessary, provided they were guarded, as far as could be, from the dangers to which they were now exposed. How could a greater test of their sincerity be required than that which they had already given, and beyond those which were contained in the Bill? In the county of Norfolk, for instance, the farmers had for the last two years been subjected to the most stringent regulations, and the result was, week 1,100 quarters of prime beef in fine condition, and it only realized 3½d. for sides of beef per lb. in the London and country markets. Mr. Gillett added that any Member of the House could see on Saturday morning in the Metropolitan Meat Market, Smithfield, such a prime lot of American beef, in fine, sweet condition, and at such a low figure, as would alter their opinion as to the ability of American shippers of beef to supply all Great Britain with sound, prime beef, in all weathers. These facts confuted the assertion that the effect of the Bill was to raise the price of meat. He had also extracted from an American paper a statement as to the number of cattle entering the Chicago market, and showing that excellent American beef could be imported into Liverpool at 4½d. a-lb. The agriculturists were not afraid of this competition. They knew they must meet it, but they did not want to be handicapped with the importation of meat and disease at the same time. Another objection to the restrictions contained in the Bill was, that they would have the effect of bringing cattle to forced sale. This was not so, because, although the cattle must be slaughtered at the port of disembarkation, there was nothing in the Bill to prevent the importer keeping the cattle alive as long as he pleased; or, in other words, until he found a market for the meat. The importer of foreign cattle would, therefore, be in no worse position than the grazier who sent up oxen from Norfolk, and who, if he did not find a ready sale, must either take his cattle back to Norfolk, or keep them in London until a late market; and in either case he would be incurring but the same expense. The hon. Member for Southampton (Mr. Giles), early in the debate, objected to the Bill on the ground that the restrictions contained in it would decrease the value of the market, in the construction of which his constituents had expended a considerable sum of money. So far from thinking this objection a valid one, he (Mr. Rodwell) thought the hon. Gentleman's constituents ought to join in supporting the Bill, because it would have the effect of freeing their market from the danger of disseminating disease, and induce buyers and sellers to attend freely. After the best consideration he could give to the subject, and after weighing the objections he had heard, his only feeling was that the Bill was not stringent enough, and he was disposed to concur in the criticism passed upon the proposed home regulations by the noble Lord (Lord Frederick Cavendish) in condemning these as not sufficiently severe. He hoped, however, that the Bill would go into Committee, and there its provisions might be altered. The principle of the Bill was a sound one. Within the last three or four years, there had been a great change of public opinion on this subject. Instead of thinking, as we did a short time ago, like the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Kavanagh), that these were trifling diseases incident to the bovine race, the public now believed that nothing but strong measures could relieve us from this dreadful scourge of diseases, which had been originally imported from foreign countries, and which would continue to be imported so long as we allowed the same elasticity to prevail as at present existed with reference to the importation of live cattle.


said, he much admired the happy stroke of audacity of his hon. and learned Friend who had just spoken (Mr. Rodwell), in appealing to the unanimity which he supposed to exist among the supporters of the Bill. He (Mr. Dodson), like his hon. and learned Friend, was anxious that the Bill should go into Committee; but one of his reasons was, that he might see what the different demeanour of the supporters of the Bill then would be. The hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin) and the hon. Member for Clitheroe (Mr. Assheton) desired stringent regulations for stamping out the disease; but the hon. and gallant Member f or West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) doubted whether they could be put in force. The hon. Member for Carlow said those now in the Bill were too strong for him, and the hon. Member for Limerick (Mr. Synan), that for England, as an importing country, they might have these restrictions if they liked, but for Ireland, an exporting country, they would never do. In The Times of to-day there was a letter from Mr. Fleming, the high authority to which the hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read) had appealed, and in that letter Mr. Fleming said that the same measures which were to be applied to the cattle from foreign countries should also be imposed on the cattle from Ireland. He hoped hon. Members from Ireland would take into account the opinion of that high authority. The hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Harcourt), in his very interesting speech, regretted that the Bill did not provide for a foreign dead-meat trade pure and simple, and that even with quarantine, any store stock were admitted alive; the hon. Member for Gloucestershire regretted that an exception was to be made by admitting animals from the United States and Canada, while the hon. Members for South Leicestershire (Mr. Pell) and West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) were not indisposed to make concessions to foreign animals, and the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ritchie) was still more strongly in favour of such concessions. The hon. find learned Member for Cambridgeshire said that farmers could not be accused of wanting Protection and dear meat, and vindicated a certain class of farmers on the ground that if meat were dear, they had to pay dearer for their store stock. His hon. and learned Friend had said that for the grazier; would he say as much for the breeder? He (Mr. Dodson) was certainly not going to accuse the farmers of wanting Protection. If there were any feeling for Protection lingering in this country, it might be looked for—it must be looked for—in other interests than the agricultural interest. He did not say that there might not be traditions in favour of Protection lingering in farmhouses here and there; but he said that belief in Protection no longer existed as a living influence amongst the agricultural classes, and it was not that of which they were thinking. He spoke on this matter not without experience, insomuch as since the Act of 1869 he had been chairman or deputy chairman of the committee on cattle diseases in the county in which he lived, and he had the misfortune of having had foot-and-mouth disease in his own dairy, and had experienced the annoyance and loss arising therefrom; but there was nothing to be gained from exaggerating the matter. He must demur, therefore, to the statement which had been made over and over again in the course of the debate that the diminution in the number of cattle in this country of late years was to be attributed to the fear of foot-and-mouth disease. He did not say that that cause had not operated to a certain extent, but it was only to a limited extent, and it was very far from being the main cause. If any hon. Member would study the agricultural statistics from year to year, he would find that the number of animals depended upon the nature of the season, and that in 1868 there was a very large number of cattle in the country, and that the number of sheep was the largest we ever had. Then we had two dry seasons in succession, in which grass and water were scarce, and the number of cattle and sheep decreased very sensibly. They increased again in 1871, 1872, and 1873, until 1874, when we had the largest number of cattle we ever had, and the largest number of sheep, with the single exception of 1868. Since 1874 the number had been decreasing; that, however, was not owing particularly to fear of foot-and-mouth disease, for in 1875 and 1876 there had been very little of that disease, but because keep was scarce and meat was dear. It had, therefore, paid better to send animals to the butcher than to maintain them. If there were to be a succession of years with abundant keep, and a good price for meat, the number of animals in the country would increase in spite of the apprehension of foot-and-mouth disease. The hon. and learned Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Rodwell) said you might stamp out this disease if you had stringent restrictions, and that when the cattle plague restrictions were enforced you had little foot-and-mouth disease. But was it worth while to pay the price? The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies said that, in the proposals of the Government, they were carrying out the measures recommended by the Select Committee of last year, especially with regard to the foot-and-mouth disease. But the Bill, as far as stamping out diseases at home, was certainly not based on the recommendations of the Committee of last year. The restrictions in the Bill were not sufficient if they wished to stamp out foot-and-mouth disease. There was no power of creating a district of regulating movement, or of suspending fairs and markets on account of foot-and-mouth disease. The quarantine of foreign animals was limited not to a minimum of 28 days, but to a minimum of 14 days, and what use was that against pleuro-pneumonia? In giving evidence before the Committee on the subject of foot-and-mouth disease, the hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read) had said that he was in favour of isolating for 28 days, and of suspending fairs and markets and transit. Were these restrictions in the Bill. If the restrictions recommended by the Committee had not been carried out with reference to the home trade, on what grounds could importers and consumers of meat be fairly asked to submit to the restrictions on foreign imports? Concessions had been made with regard to imports from the United States and Canada; but was Texas cleaner than Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, and Denmark? Then they were told this measure would not affect the supply or the price of meat. That was all very well, coming from Gentlemen like the hon. and learned Member for Cambridgeshire, who represented purely agricultural constituencies, or who were producers of meat, breeders and graziers; but what did the importers, who were most vitally interested, say? They entirely differed from the home producers of meat on this question. What, again, did foreign Governments say? They almost all remonstrated against these restrictions. Even the Select Committee of last year only ventured to say, that if there were immunity from these two scourges, such an increase might be anticipated in breeding as would in the course of a few years be large enough to make up for whatever diminution of supply might be occasioned by new restrictions in the imports from foreign countries. The hon. Gentleman the Chairman of the Committee (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) made a similar statement, but more guardedly, because he contemplated admitting cattle from the five countries above named. The Secretary of State for the Colonies said— If compulsory slaughter prevented the importation of disease, the protection of our flocks and herds would far outweigh any possible slight increase in the price of food. That could bear no other meaning than that it was justifiable to increase the price of food to human beings, in order to benefit the lower animals. He went on to say that the restrictions on cattle from Belgium and Germany in 1877 had raised prices in the Metropolis. Yet the hon. Gentleman, in his peroration, declared— The Bill was not proposed in the interests of any class, but with the object of increasing the food of the people; although, in the argumentative part of his speech, he told them that it would raise the price of meat. The Bill was based upon the theory that if we had stringent restrictions at home to stamp out disease, and prohibit its importation from abroad by slaughter at the port of debarkation, we should thus be able to abolish disease in the country and keep it out. That, although only a theory, was no doubt in itself a tenable theory; but the Bill did not provide those stringent restrictions for dealing with the disease at home, nor provide effectually against its introduction from abroad. The restrictions, while insufficient for these purposes, would interfere with freedom of trade. They would strike a blow at the live, in favour of the dead-meat trade; and yet it had been shown that while the former was a well-established trade, which for 20 years had been steadily increasing, and which in 1876 had grown to £7,000,000 a-year; the latter was as yet but a doubtful experiment. The number of cattle imported for food in 1876 was estimated to equal 25 per cent of the number available for the butcher, which England produced in the same year. The hon. Member for South Norfolk had stated that, in 1877, the dead-meat trade amounted in value to £4,117,000. He (Mr. Dodson) had been surprised at that statement being made, and he had carefully gone through the Board of Trade Returns with the view of ascertaining its correctness, and he had found that in that year the value of the trade only amounted to £1,690,000. It would appear, however, that the hon. Member had included in his calculations the sum of £1,438,000, the value of imported preserved meat, in addition to the sum of £408,000, that of imported salt beef, and £584,000, that of imported salt pork.


explained, that, having been requested by the right hon. Member for Bradford to move for a continuation of the Return presented to the Committee last year, he had done so. The Return was in the Library, and open to the inspection of any hon. Member.


said, that he wondered that his hon. Friend did not include the importation of bacon and hams in his statement of the extent of the dead-meat trade; he was just as much entitled to do that, as to claim preserved meat or salt beef and salt pork as bearing on the question. In that case, he might, with equal justice have included in his calculation £5,699,000, the value of imported bacon, and £1,152,000, that of imported hams. There could be no doubt that the balance of convenience, especially in hot weather, was in favour of the live cattle trade, because they could be moved about from place to place without injury, which was not the case with dead meat. A good deal had been said as to the advantages which were offered by the dead Meat Market of London; but since entering the House that evening, he had had a letter put into his hands to the effect that within the last few days 23 tons of meat had been seized and condemned, and that a large quantity would be spoilt that day; in fact, the writer went on to say that the Market was full of spoiling meat, notwithstanding that, owing to the weather, the butchers were glad to get any price that was offered for their meat. American meat had also been sold at the same period at a loss, and importation would consequently decrease. These facts would give some idea of what the price of meat would have been if a supply of live animals, at the trade in which this Bill struck a blow, had not been available. The fact was, as he had said, that the Bill would strike a heavy blow at the cattle trade, which was an established one, in favour of the dead meat trade, which was an exceptional and an experimental one. The American dead meat trade was in a great measure experimental, and it was evident it could only be relied on in winter, just as the live cattle trade was better adapted for the summer. Figures had been cited by the hon. Member for South Norfolk in order to show that the amount of dead meat imported was on the increase. Now, he had himself examined the Returns relating to what was really fresh meat, and he found that there was a slight diminution in the quantity imported in the first five months of 1878 as compared with the same months in the previous year. It was clear, therefore, that the trade had not been found so very profitable as to lead to an extension of it. He also found that the number of sheep and calves had decreased, but the number of oxen imported had increased, so that the amount of live meat imported showed an increase, as did also that in salt meat over the corresponding five months of last year. He would ask whether the dead meat trade was not chiefly successful in the case of large animals, and whether it was not less well suited to small animals, such as sheep and to offal? The Bill as it stood at present did not give us absolute security against disease. All it did was to increase the present restrictions, and the question we had to ask ourselves was this—"Are these additions to the present restrictions worth the cost which we shall have to pay for them?" A concession had been made with regard to the United States and Canada. Those countries were not altogether without suspicion of disease; but most of the supporters of the Bill consented to trust the discretion of the Privy Council in regard to them. Why, then, might we not also trust the Privy Council in regard to Sweden and Norway, which were quite as clean as the United States and Canada? Why could it not likewise be trusted as to Denmark, Spain, and Portugal? Why, indeed, could we not go further, and leave the matter altogether to the discretion of the Privy Council as heretofore. Certainty of freedom was an excellent thing for trade; but he questioned whether certainty of restrictions was. Neither the importers of cattle, nor the foreign Governments, nor the Committee of 1877, nor the Secretary to the Treasury, nor the Secretary for the Colonies, believed that the proposed restriction would not affect the price of food—at all events, for the present. Suppose, however, that every one of these authorities was wrong, and that the price of meat would not be affected, it would yet be impossible to persuade the consumers that the restrictions on the importation of foreign stock would not raise the price of meat; and, if so, was it desirable that the mass of the population of the country should be imbued with the idea, even if it were mistaken, that the price of food was being artificially kept up through legislation which was initiated by a Government supported by the producers of meat? He ventured to hope that, after the debate, and seeing the diversity of opinion which prevailed on the subject, the Government would be disposed to make some concessions in Committee as regarded, at least, some of the foreign countries. The Government could not reinsert the stringent home restrictions it had itself struck out in the Lords. If they did so, they might stultify themselves, as the House of Lords might strike those clauses out again when the Bill returned to the Upper House. As the Bill stood, it would certainly have the effect of hampering the foreign trade, while it was by no means certain that, modified as the foreign restrictions were, it would prevent the introduction of disease from abroad, and it would not, at all events, lead to the stamping out of foot-and-mouth disease at home. What, then, would the Bill do? It appeared to him that the principal effect of it would be two-fold. It might amuse a certain number of the farmers, who did not closely follow these debates, and had not studied the difference between the measure and the recommendations of the Committee; it might amuse them with the idea that they were getting security for the stamping out of diseases at home, and security for preventing its introduction from abroad—neither of which were to be found in the Bill—and it would have the further effect of taking off the Government the responsibility of watching and scheduling, and unscheduling countries according to their condition, throwing the responsibility on the shoulders of Parliament, which would have to take upon itself the odium of laying down of a hard-and-fast line, that the consumers would never be persuaded had not the effect of raising the price of meat.


, as the Representative of an important borough, said, he could not regard the Bill otherwise than as a measure of great importance, while he entertained no doubt that the desire of the Government, as stated by themselves, was to secure as far as possible a cheap and abundant supply of meat for the people. Of course, there might be differences of opinion as to whether the Bill would effect that object. He had heard, he might add, of pressure having been put on some borough Members to induce them to oppose the Bill; but for himself, he could only say that he had not received a single letter from his constituents on the subject, although, from the trials which they had recently gone through, they were peculiarly interested in the price of meat. As to the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), it might, he thought, very well form matter for serious consideration in Committee; but if it were now to be carried, the result would be to defeat a measure which, according to the right hon. Gentleman himself, contained many valuable provisions. He could not, therefore, record his vote in favour of the Resolution. He thought the stringent restrictions as to the importation of foreign cattle might be modified with advantage, and that the regulations as to our home stock, particularly those which related to foot-and-mouth disease, might be made more stringent. He should like also to know why, if fat cattle were condemned to be slaughtered at the port of debarkation, that cattle which were more dangerous should be allowed to go to different parts of the country? Remembering, as he did, the great destruction of cattle caused by the rinderpest, he was anxious that all reasonable restrictions should be placed on the importation of foreign stock; but he did not think the present Bill would accomplish the two objects aimed at—namely, the keeping out of rinderpest from abroad and the stamping it out at home. He wished, however, to urge on the Government the necessity of leaving some discretion in the hands of the Privy Council. That was a suggestion which would not, he believed, meet with much favour; but it should not be forgotten that the Privy Council had in former years performed the duties which had devolved upon it with a diligence and energy which gave great satisfaction to the country, although they had not been able to stamp out disease. As to the scheduled countries, he hoped his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would consider whether, when allowing the introduction of live animals from Canada and the United States, it might not be well in a matter of such vital importance to the public that Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden should be placed upon the most favourable footing, instead of being shut out altogether as was proposed, and that, as he had already said, some discretion should be given to the Privy Council so to modify the restrictions as to prevent the slaughter of animals when there was really no necessity for it. Having expressed these views, it might be asked why he did not vote for the Resolution? That was a fair question, and he was prepared to answer it. He could not vote for the Resolution in its present abstract shape; but he should be prepared when the Bill got into Committee to do his utmost to modify its provisions; and if some substantial alterations were not made in it before the third reading, he should be as ready to vote against it as he was now to record his vote in its favour. In conclusion, he hoped his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would be able to give them some information as to the points upon which the Government would be prepared to modify the Bill.


believed that, according to the Forms of the House, it would not be possible for him to move that the Bill be read a second time on that day three months. As he was not able to move the rejection of the Bill, he had no hesitation whatever in supporting the Amendment of his right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), because the Amendment had this good quality, that it condemned the worst provisions of the Bill. He might observe that, with regard to a similar Amendment in the other House, the Lord President of the Council strongly objected to it, because he said it was diametrically opposed to the essential spirit of the Bill, and he seemed to insist upon the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill. If that were the spirit in which the Government, or the Department of the Government which was responsible for the Bill acted, he must certainly say that he felt some regret that Conservative Members who were opposed to the "essential spirit" of the Bill were not prepared to vote against the second reading. His right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford seemed to justify his Amendment on the ground that he did not wish to prevent the second reading of the Bill, because there were some good things in the measure; while the hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Hermon) had said that was the reason why he was going to vote against the Amendment; but nobody could have listened to the calm and admirable speech of the right hon. Member for Bradford, without feeling that the bad provisions of the Bill far outweighed the good. He (Mr. Rylands) did not think that they should meet it by an abstract Resolution or Amendment, but that a more straightforward course would be to vote against the second reading. If they did reject the Bill, there would be no great disadvantage arising in consequence. There was no alarm at the present time about the cattle disease in this country, and there was no sufficient reason shown by Her Majesty's Government for bringing forward the Bill. The Privy Council, in reference to cattle disease, had considerable power, while, in regard to rinderpest, it had absolute power. His hon. Friend the Member for Preston (Mr. Hermon) had called attention to that frightful scourge of rinderpest which, a few years since, caused such great losses in this country; but the Bill was not required to deal with rinderpest, the power of the Privy Council being actually in existence, while this Bill did not increase it. Let it be understood that, so far as they who were opposing the Bill were concerned, they went entirely with hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House in their willingness to adopt the strongest possible measures to stamp out rinderpest—either by home restrictions, or strong restrictions on importation. Let there be no mistake about that. But this Bill was really one that was unnecessary on account of rinderpest, and in its new provisions was to all intents and purposes one practically for the prevention of pleuro-pneumonia, and chiefly foot-and-mouth disease. His objections to the Bill were that it was a dishonest Bill, because it came before them under false pretences; its provisions were opposed to the weight of evidence given before the Committee of 1877, and before the Lords' Committee of this year, and it did not carry out the recommendation of these Committees. It was also absolutely inconsistent with the opinions of the Members of the Government who had charge of the Bill. He was sorry to see that his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), had walked out of the House, because he was going to say that the hon. Gentleman had recommended a Bill which was entirely contrary to the opinions which he himself expressed last year. He would ask him where he could find the arguments which had converted him from the opinions he held last year, and which were opposed to the provisions embodied in the Bill? The Bill was also inconsistent with the views expressed by the Lord President of the Council (the Duke of Richmond) on the 19th March, 1877, and he would recommend the speech to any hon. Friend who would consult Hansard. In that speech, the Duke of Richmond condemned every provision of this Bill; and, therefore, he (Mr. Rylands) said, that the present measure came before the House under false pretences, because it was contrary to the express judgment of the Members of the Government who had charge of the Bill. Other Members of the Government had sought to recommend the Bill to their attention by statements which were misleading. The Secretary of State for the Colonies had said that the proposals of the Bill were based upon the recommendations of the Committee of 1877; but it was entirely incorrect to say that the present Bill was based on these recommendations. The noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade, in order to justify the course the Government had taken, and to prove that they could not be justly accused of the desire to encourage Protection, said— When they came to deal with large producing countries such as Canada and the United States, they kept the door wide open to them to send not only dead meat, but their live cattle to walk over the land as they liked."—[See ante, p. 246.] But the Bill must be looked to as it was brought in by the Government, and in its original form it excluded those cattle, so that the Government were not entitled to the credit of having opened the ports to America and Canada. But if the Government were so anxious to escape the charge of Protection, why should they not give way, also, in respect to the countries in Europe from which they derived considerable sources of supply? No doubt, it was argued by the Government in justification of this extraordinary proposal, that the provisions of the Bill, and the protection which the Bill would afford to the cattle of this country, would bring about an increase of home cattle, which would more than make up for the diminution of foreign import, and the price of food would therefore be cheaper. But the provisions of the Bill for stamping out disease were confessedly inadequate, and, so far as home restrictions were concerned, it was a sham Bill. He was glad to see his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) now in his place, and no doubt the hon. Member would say at the proper time whether he was prepared to state to the House that the provisions of this Bill were sufficient to stamp out disease. The Bill was intended to have that effect, and yet the Government could not say whether or not it would be successful, and they could give no assurance that this stamping-out process would be accomplished in one, five, or 10 years, if ever. If the Bill were to remain in the present condition in regard to home restrictions, it would be entirely inadequate for the purpose intended. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) made a statement in the House the other night, in which he said that pleuro-pneumonia was a disease which they had received from Ireland; and that, for his part, he could not see why one animal found to be diseased on the voyage from Ireland should be slaughtered while the others went all over the country carrying the virus about with them, which would be naturally a source of great danger. Would the hon. and gallant Member deal with Ireland in a way which would be necessary to stamp out the disease? The hon. and gallant Baronet went further, and said that— Then as to foot-and-mouth disease, the question it involved was one most difficult to deal with. … The difficulty of the case was this—If we stamped out the disease, we should stop the trade of the country very considerably. People said they would submit to any restrictions, but would they really do so when it came to the point? … Again, what was to be done with fairs and markets?"—[See ante, p. 224-5.] He had heard no answer to these questions. He had not heard hon. Gentlemen state that they intended to move with regard to this matter in Committee, and, clearly, unless these restrictions were dealt with, it was impossible to consider for a moment that the Bill would be satisfactory for stamping out cattle disease. He had read very carefully the evidence taken before the Committee of 1877, and before the Lords' Committee of this year, and the conclusion he had come to, looking at the evidence laid before the Committee, was, that while there wore very grave doubts as to whether by any restriction it would be possible to stamp out foot-and-mouth disease in the country, there was no difference of opinion in the minds of witnesses of authority who could be relied upon, as to the utter inadequacy of such partial measures as those proposed in the Bill. That was what might be gathered from the evidence of distinguished authorities, and yet the Government, while they were not prepared to admit a measure which would give a chance of stamping out foot-and-mouth disease in this country, urged upon the House to accept a partial and inadequate measure of home restrictions to justify the adoption of compulsory slaughter of foreign cattle. He asked the House to remember that he was not arguing the matter of rinderpest at all. He was speaking of foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia, and in regard to these, the evidence entirely failed to show that disease in this country was in any way materially increased by the importation of foreign cattle. He thought he was justified in saying that upon the evidence of Professor Simonds, whose statements were somewhat depreciated by his hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read). Still Professor Simonds was a gentleman of great experience and knowledge, and when he was asked before the Committee last year, whether he thought the importation of foreign cattle materially increased pleuro-pneumonia, he said he did not think it did. Professor Simonds added— I came to this conclusion from the simple fact that we had quite as many cases in 1841 and 1842 as I think we have had in any other year since, and the same with regard to foot-and-mouth disease. I have stated previously to other Committees that in my experience, the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1839 raged to a greater extent in 1840 and 1841, and was more destructive to life at that time than it had ever been since. Yet hon. Gentlemen perfectly well knew that, during all the time of this great outbreak of pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease, no foreign cattle were allowed to come into the country at all. He even believed the importation of dead meat was prohibited. Then he desired to quote from the Report of the Veterinary Department for 1876, in which some very important statements appeared. The Report stated— It has been remarked that on several occasions, when foot-and-mouth disease has prevailed extensively in this Kingdom, it has continued in a minimum state of existence abroad; while, on the contrary, it has been extremely active on the Continent during the periods of its decline in this Kingdom. Then the Department proceeded to give statistics of various years. In 1871, when there was a large amount of foot-and-mouth disease in this country, the Continent was very free from it. In 1873 England was free from it, and the Continent had it to a large extent. The same was the case in 1875 and 1876, and the result of these facts were summed up by the Department in these words— This enormous influx of diseased animals in the course of the last two years did not induce a corresponding state of prevalence of the malady in this country; on the contrary, it remained in a minimum state of existence during the past year, especially while it was extending its ravages upon the Continent. These facts seem quite incompatible with the frequent assertion that the fresh outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease are consequent upon its re-introduction from the Continent. The chief part of the argument of the hon. and learned Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Rodwell) was to the effect that the disease was mainly derivable from the importation of disease from abroad; yet, according to the judgment of the Veterinary Department, that was not so. And they might also base the same conclusion upon the authority of none other than the Lord President of the Council, who had introduced this very Bill. Last year there was a Resolution passed by the Royal Agricultural Society in favour of prohibiting the import of live cattle, and that Resolution was brought under the notice of the House of Lords by Earl Fortescue. In reply, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon remarked that— The noble Earl said the Resolution ought to be enforced, for the purpose of preventing the introduction of cattle disease; but he seemed to have forgotten that foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia were cattle diseases, and were known in this country before foreign animals were permitted to come in. Therefore, foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia were not dependent upon the introduction of foreign stock."—[3 Hansard, ccxxxiii. 101–2.] [Mr. RODWELL dissented.] His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire shook his head at those observations; but he would remind him they were not his (Mr. Rylands's) but those of the Lord President of the Council, who had introduced that very Bill. He would not go into the question of the dead-meat trade, which had been so ably argued by his right hon. Friend the Member for Chester (Mr. Dodson). In reference to that question, the Lord President of the Council put before the House of Lords the clearest possible arguments to show that the dead-meat trade could not by any possibility make up for a deficiency in the live-meat trade. It must be known that restrictions in the importation of live cattle would necessarily interfere with the supply of food. He ventured to say that the Government knew very well that the restrictions they proposed would interfere with the free import of food. A remarkable speech was delivered by the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade, when he was arguing in favour of these restrictions upon foreign imports. The noble Lord said— Suppose, for instance, an exception were made with regard to Portugal, the real risk which would have to be run was, that the moment one country was placed in a freer condition than another, the temptations presented to an unclean country to get its diseased animals passed through the freer country was enormous. Why should that be, unless the diseased country wanted to get its cattle introduced without being slaughtered? That must be the case, because the argument was, that if they allowed certain cattle to come in without being slaughtered, other countries would have "enormous temptations" to pass their beasts through the freer countries, in order to get the advantage of being admitted. It was impossible to understand the language of the noble Lord as having any other meaning in it. The noble Lord must have been carried away with his arguments, because this passage proved that he must have known very well that the dealers in foreign animals would prefer very much indeed having liberty to send their cattle to various markets in the country, rather than be compelled to slaughter them at the port of debarkation, and this fact was entirely antagonistic to the course he was advocating. The Bill was altogether unjustifiable in every point of view. It was inconsistent with the opinions expressed in the Report of last year, drawn up by the Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), and it was entirely inconsistent with the opinions expressed in March' 1877, by the Lord President of the Council. Not only was the Bill inconsistent with the opinions of its promoters, but its provisions were full of inconsistencies. It proceeded upon the idea of stamping out cattle disease at home, and avoided the only possible means of doing it. The Bill admitted American and Canadian cattle freely, and required that all other foreign cattle should be slaughtered at the ports of debarkation. The Bill required fat cattle from Europe to be slaughtered, to prevent their bringing contagion with them, while it allowed store and dairy cattle to circulate everywhere. It gave the Privy Council full discretion in regard to home restrictions, and refused positively any discretion in regard to the foreign supply. The noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade had asked why the Government had moved at all in this matter? and, in reply to his own question, he made a remarkable statement, which was worthy the attention of the House. The noble Lord said— He would not deny that the Government had received very strong representations on the subject, and, as was natural, the first thing which struck the Government—the matter being one of very serious and grave importance—was that they ought not to run the risk of appearing to reject their most immediate Friends. That certainly let the cat out of the bag, and showed that the Bill was brought forward to satisfy the most immediate friends of the Government. He looked around to see where those friends were, and he thought he found them in the agricultural societies. This was shown by the action of the hon. Member for North Wilts (Sir George Jenkinson), who gave Notice last year that he would move— That all cattle should be slaughtered at the port of debarkation, except such as are intended for store stock, and that such stock shall be liable to quarantine at the ports of landing. That policy received the cordial support of the Royal Agricultural Society, and the Government had embodied in the Bill before the House the Resolution of the hon. Baronet the Member for North Wilts. The fact was, as he had been told by Conservatives, the nature of the Government was something like a jellyfish —when a sufficient amount of pressure was brought to bear upon them they could be made to take any shape which was liked. He hoped this yielding to pressure which the Government had manifested towards their "most immediate friends," might lead them to yield to pressure brought to bear on them on behalf of the great body of meat consumers of the country. This was a question which was exciting more and more attention and interest in the populous districts affected by it. His hon. Friend the Member for South Norfolk said he believed an Election cry was wanted by the Liberals. Well, the Liberals would have to thank the Government if they persisted with this Bill, for providing them with the best Election cry which was possible. If he did not conceive that the interests of the country were greatly opposed to it, he should say for the Liberal Party that they would be benefited more by the Government carrying the Bill. He had no doubt if the Government carried the Bill in its integrity, it would raise the price of food. They themselves knew that that would be the case immediately, although they argued that they were justified in supposing that in some future time the measure would produce an abundant supply at home. But they knew that from the first, when they restricted the supply they must raise the price of food; and, therefore, he thought the Government should pause, at a period of great commercial depression, when great bodies of their fellow-countrymen were subject to serious privation, before they pressed upon the House and the country a measure which must necessarily restrict the supply of food, and thereby add to the sufferings and increase the burdens which now existed.


thought that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) would have done better to have moved the rejection of the Bill, than to have brought forward the Resolution. The speeches which had been delivered in the course of this debate were more fitted for Committee than for the second reading of the Bill; and when the measure reached Committee, every question to which attention had been directed might be again raised. He wished to point out that the compulsory slaughter of foreign cattle was not to come into operation until 1879, which seemed to him ample time for the trade to make the necessary arrangements to enable them to meet the new state of things. In reference to the fact that a quantity of dead meat had been condemned recently in the London market, he might observe that the dead-meat trade was only just beginning to come into operation; and that, therefore, the arrangements for carrying it on successfully were not complete. Dead meat, he believed, could be imported in a proper state, with an improvement, such as could readily be made, in the means of conveyance; and, if so, it ought to be imported, instead of live cattle being sent in at the risk of spreading disease. Farmers did not object to free trade in meat any more than free trade in corn, but what they were opposed to was being handicapped by disease. It had been suggested that owing to compulsory slaughter of animals at the port of debarkation there would frequently be a glut in the market; but it should be remembered there was no need to slaughter more animals than there was a demand for, and if an extraordinary number of beasts were accumulated at the port, it would be easy to telegraph to the Continent to reduce the supply for a few days at a very short notice. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) had supplied the supporters of the Bill with a good argument, when he claimed consideration for Denmark, because it had kept itself free from disease by adopting severe restrictions; for if such restrictions had been attended with success in Denmark, why should they not be equally successful here? If it suited Denmark or any other country to alter its regulations, that country would do so without consulting us; and we could only secure safety for ourselves by making our own regulations, which we could either relax or increase in severity when we saw how they worked. For these reasons the Bill ought to be read a second time, and its provisions considered in Committee. What was wanted was protection from disease, or else the home producers would be heavily handicapped by the disease imported from abroad. He hoped that the Bill would be read a second time. It did not appear to him that there was much more light to be thrown upon the subject; but if any further information and suggestion were forthcoming, let that information and suggestion be brought forward in Committee. He believed he spoke the sentiments and feelings of agriculturists when he said that he should have been prepared to support the measure of the Government, even if had been necessary to increase in some respects the restrictions which it now proposed. He must confess that he should have preferred to see the Bill in the shape in which it was originally introduced into Parliament, rather than in the form in which it had been brought down to the House of Commons. Had he thought that the measure would result in increasing the cost of food to the people, he should be the last to support it. On the contrary, he believed it would enable our agriculturists to raise more stock and to supply more food for the people; and that, when the trade was more regulated, which he believed it would shortly be, the measure would not interfere materially, if at all, with the supply of food from foreign countries, but would only alter the condition in which it was brought to us.


said, he rose to support the second reading of the Bill, because he considered the matter one of vital importance to the people of his country. He could not see why it was called a Bill of Protection, for the only protection it afforded was protection against the spread of disease. Neither could he understand how its operation would increase the price of meat, because they would increase the stock in the country, and Ireland alone would be able to make up for any deficiency that might arise from the supply of cattle from Continental countries if disease was properly stamped out. The importance of the question to the country he represented would be easily imagined, when he told them there were in the county he represented 99,647 dairy cows alone, 100,000 head of one and two year old store stock, and 70,000 sheep, making in all a total of 269,647 head of cattle and sheep in that county, which, at a very low average, was valued at £3,130,000. There was no wonder, then, that a Representative of that county should be anxious to stamp out the disease in any way he could. If in any part of the country there was even a rumour of disease, there was a fall of £1 to £2 per head in the value of the stock, and that militated against the small farmer, who generally bred the cattle; at the very lowest computation, therefore, the value of the stock in that county fell as much as £300,000 on the mere rumour of disease in the district. There could be no objection, then, to an hon. Gentleman coming there to support a Bill which would stamp out disease in every form. There was, however, one great objection he and his Friends had to the Bill, which he hoped would be remedied in Committee. That was the matter of the double inspection. They had no objection that in the case of Ireland the inspection should be as strict as possible; but they could not conceive why, when there had been an inspection in Ireland, the cattle should be put through another inspection on landing in England. It was unjust and unfair. Why not a double inspection in the case of Scotch and English cattle, which came in many cases longer journeys than Irish cattle? If the matter were persevered with in Committee, they would feel bound to oppose it as strongly as they could. If a greater risk were run in the journey across the Channel than was run in bringing cattle from Scotland secured in railway trucks, they might be disposed to see the wisdom of a double inspection; but the risk was known to be no greater. It was well known that in Ireland they had no disease at all until the importation of foreign cattle, and he hoped when the importation of foreign cattle was stopped, they would be again quite free from disease of all kind. He was glad to say that now they were pretty free from it. Believing that the Bill, if carried, would greatly diminish the prevalence of disease, he had pleasure in according it his support.


said, that the question of Protection might be put aside altogether in this debate. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Chester (Mr. Dodson) urged that the Petitions in favour of the Bill had come from the Representatives of the agriculturists; but they had seen that in this debate those Representatives had spoken in the interests of the consumers as well as in their own. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to speak for antagonistic interests; his principal clients were importers and foreign Governments; but he also claimed to speak for the Secretary to the Treasury, for the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and on behalf of the Select Committee. The real questions to be answered were these—Were the diseases of cattle in this country of sufficient importance to the community at large to render it necessary to take severe measures against them? Could they be stamped out? And would this Bill enable us to stamp them out? All these questions had been answered over and over again. He was convinced that the people of this country were prepared to submit to very restrictive measures in order that they might be provided with a fair and adequate supply of meat. He was not prepared to say that the Bill before the House would be perfectly successful; but he believed that it was the very best means at hand, and that the House could not do better than pass it pretty nearly in the form in which it now stood. He said pretty nearly in the form in which it now stood, because he was not one of those who would desire to press on any Bill, in a very stringent way, in the face of a strong opposition. If this Bill should prove to be not that success which they anticipated, then they might introduce some modification—perhaps taking the direction of admitting favourably the cattle of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. But he wished to see a hard-and-fast line drawn, so that all foreign cattle should be slaughtered at the port of debarkation. They could try that, and then if they found that it raised the price of meat, they might very well give powers to the Committee of Council to make modifications as regards those countries to which he had alluded. In reference to that point, it was to be observed that cattle coming from healthy countries were often attacked with disease after being landed in this country, that disease arising solely from bad management of them during the voyage, or from exposing them to cold winds on their arrival. He did not believe that the price of meat would be in any way raised by the provisions of the Bill. He believed that the trade would be more thoroughly developed, and that arrangements would be made which would fully meet the supply. He believed there would be a large increase of young cattle from Ireland and the grazing counties in England, and this would tend to diminish and keep down the price of meat. After all, this was a matter which, to a great extent, corrected itself. When meat reached a certain price the demand slackened, and the price was brought down. He had some experience as a sufferer from foot-and-mouth disease, and he did not think that the estimates of the losses sustained had been overrated. He thought, however, that the losses from pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease had been increased by want of more stringent regulations at home. In the case of the Irish cattle, pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease did not come so much from Ireland as from the treatment to which the cattle were subjected on the voyage, and after they reached this country. The dealer in foreign cattle had a great advantage over the home producer, who sent cattle up from the North, and must sell on the day of arrival. So far as he had heard, no valid objection had been urged against the measure. A Petition in favour of the Bill had been presented to the House signed by almost all the agriculturists, and by almost all those who were interested in land, not only in Essex, but in the whole of the Eastern counties; and he was quite sure that neither he, nor those for whom he spoke, would have attached their signatures to that document had they believed that the effect of the measure would be to restrict our supplies or to increase the price of meat.


said, to a considerable extent he agreed with the confession of faith put before the House by the hon. and gallant Member who had just spoken (Colonel Ruggles-Brise); but his speech contained one little defect—a defect which had been visible in every speech made in support of this measure. The hon. and gallant Member had failed to make the necessary connection between the continuance of foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia in this country, and the continued importation of fat animals from the five countries they now placed in the black list; and he (Mr. J. K. Cross) wished to draw the attention of hon. Members to the extraordinary fact that, from the beginning of that debate until then, no hon. Member had made good that connecting link, and no hon. Member had given them any instance of disease having been communicated through inspection having failed. The Bill was based upon the assumption that inspection having failed, a period of indiscriminate slaughter must begin; but no proof of inspection having failed had been placed before them; and before they were asked to reverse the free trade legislation of the last 30 years, it really was incumbent on the Government to make good the position they took up. Hitherto free trade had been the rule, restriction the exception; but by the Bill, the principle of which was protection, whether they noticed it or not, restriction was the rule and free trade the exception. Now, he did not profess to know much about the question; but he was quite able to form an opinion on the statement of the authorities whose evidence had been quoted, and he would read to the House the opinion of Professor Brown, whose name had so often been mentioned in that debate, and who was, he was told, the greatest living authority in the matter; and his evidence went to prove that it was by the spread of infection at home, rather than importation, that the prevalence of disease was kept up. Professor Brown said— Pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease have existed in this Kingdom for nearly 40 years, and they are certain to continue so long as diseased and infected animals are moved in all directions from one part of the Kingdom to another, and new generations of susceptible subjects are constantly brought under the influence of the contagion. … Where a contagious affection is established, it may be kept up by a constant supply of healthy susceptible animals, without any fresh introduction of diseased ones, and in this way pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease must have been kept up during the time when foreign animals were not permitted to be landed in this country. The extract he had quoted certainly showed that home restrictions were more needed than anything else. He had listened to the speeches of the hon. Baronet the Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), who introduced the measure, to that of the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), and to that of the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade (Viscount Sandon), and there was not in any one of those speeches a single word of proof that inspection had failed; and he could not too strongly impress upon the House the necessity of having such proof before they passed the second reading of the Bill. The Secretary to the Treasury certainly proved that more home restrictions were needed, and with his argument on that point he (Mr. J. K. Cross) cordially agreed; but he could not go with him in the line he took about the effect the new restriction would have in affecting the price of meat, and he thought his arguments on that point, and also those of the noble Lord the President of the Board of Trade, were the most extraordinary he had ever heard. What did the Secretary to the Treasury say? His argument was this—"Dead meat is worth less than live meat by £3 per carcase; therefore, if you encourage the dead meat trade, and discourage or suppress the live meat supply from Europe, you will lower the price of meat to the consumer;" but how, by reducing the selling value of the dead meat, they could increase the quantity and so permanently reduce the price, he (Mr. J. K. Cross) thought the House would quite fail to see.


explained, that he was quoting the evidence of a dealer, and quoting him as not being an authority on whom much dependence could be placed.


said, he would like to know what was the argument of the President of the Board of Trade? He quoted Professor Brown to prove, what? That in the rinderpest period the compulsory slaughter of cattle had depressed the price of meat. But what connection was there between the two cases? They were not in the least parallel. The compulsory slaughter in the rinderpest period caused everyone to fear the destruction of his herds, and cattle were forced into the market; but in this case the cattle were not there, and surely the noble Lord would see that the compulsory slaughter clauses of the Bill would not attract them. Such arguments were certainly not worthy of the House of Commons, and were statements which were more suited to the Marines. But would the Bill restrict the supply? They had good evidence that that would take place in what they knew of the lessened supply following the Privy Council Orders. In the last two years, the restrictions imposed had been accompanied by a reduction of imports of 26 per cent of cattle, 17 per cent of sheep, and 56 per cent of pigs; and, at the same time, the price of meat had risen, whilst almost all other commodities had fallen. During the last year, the price of American bacon had fallen 25 per cent; hams, 20 percent; cheese, 26 per cent; lard, 20 per cent; butter 5 per cent; whilst meat had risen 5 per cent. But a reduction in supply of any article of general consumption, of which the supply was only about equal to the demand, affected the price to an enormously greater extent than the proportion of reduction. Everyone who had any knowledge of commercial affairs must know that, and many hon. Members would have in their minds instances of it. The familiar instance of coal, in 1872, had been quoted several times, and he remembered, a few years ago, that a reduction in the available supply of sugar of 6 per cent was accompanied by a rise of 30 per cent; tallow, 5 per cent, was accompanied by a rise of 20 per cent; silk, 12 per cent, was accompanied by a rise of 70 per cent. And in 1872, when the supply of coal was not reduced, but through excessive demand the supply available for the market was about 7 per cent less than usual, the price in his own neighbourhood rose more than 100 per cent. And was it not idle to suppose that meat would not be ruled by the same laws? But there was another aspect of the question. How would that retrograde legislation affect their trade with those countries which they placed on that black list? He was greatly astonished the other day, when his right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) stated that they should consider other countries, that the statement should have been received with scorn by some hon. Members below the Gangway opposite. But he hoped that hon. Members would agree with him in this—that if they could, without damage or danger to themselves, consider the interests of foreign countries, they ought to do so in the best interests of commerce; and he would like to ask the House what the countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, and Spain and Portugal, had done that they should be treated as they were treating them now? The Danes felt the matter very keenly. Everyone who had any connection with that country, or who knew any of the Danish Consuls, must know this—they were anxious to trade with them. They were sending them now 100,000 head of live stock annually, and in seven years there had been only 38 cases of disease from Denmark. From Sweden and Norway they had positively no disease; and from Spain and Portugal, out of an import of 41,800 head of cattle, they had four cases only of foot-and-mouth disease, or one in 10,000, which bore no proportion at all to disease in this country. Well, how would that new law affect their trade with Spain? Would it tend to develop it? What effect would it have the next time they tried to negotiate a Treaty of Commerce with that country? The last time they tried to do so the Spaniards asked them to reduce the high duties which they placed upon Spanish wines, in order that Spain might reduce the imports she placed upon their goods. They were not able to do so, and the negotiations fell through. But where would they be the next time they tried to negotiate with them? What had they done that they should be treated in that manner? He did wish the commercial Members of the House to consider what the effect of such unnecessary restrictions placed upon their commerce must have the next time they tried to open negotiations with them. He knew that modest borough Members on that side of the House had little influence with Her Majesty's Government; but he did venture to impress upon the Government the absolute necessity of such alteration in the Bill as would remove its retrograde character, and hoped that if the Government were determined to force its second reading, that in Committee such alteration would be made in it as to destroy its Protectionist character, and place those European countries, in which there was so much less disease than there was here, on the same footing as Canada and the United States.


said, he would not have taken part in this debate if he had not been a Member of the Committee which sat last year. Frequent allusions having been made to that Committee, he felt it his duty to say a few words. He thought he could divine the reason why the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) had put his Amendment on the Paper. In the Committee of last year the right hon. Gentleman moved a Resolution somewhat similar to this Amendment. In previous Committees of which the right hon. Gentleman was Chairman the same thing happened. A man might be excused for being fond of his own child; but, in his (Mr. Elliot's) opinion, the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman was a ne'er-do-well child. The necessity for this Bill had been demonstrated by the Select Committee of last year, whose judgment had presumably been affected by the great havoc created by the introduction from abroad of the dreadful scourge of rinderpest. Even slaughter at the ports might not, in his opinion, prove sufficient to prevent the importation of that disease, as the disease might be carried up the river in ships, and might, considering how insidious it was, be distributed after the cattle were slaughtered. But slaughter was, at all events, a precaution, and was certainly the less evil of the two. It had been said that Denmark and Spain ought to be allowed, without any restrictions, to send cattle to this country. It was true that they had not had much cattle disease from Spain and Denmark; but a man had been known to purchase cattle in different countries, and take them into Spain with the intention of bringing them into England. Now, if cattle were to be smuggled that way into this country, they would never be free from cattle disease. An hon. Member opposite had talked much about the effect which the operation of this Bill would have in increasing the price of meat; but if he had read the Blue Books bearing on this subject, he would have found that, although in the year 1877 there were imported into this country, in round numbers, 53,000 cattle and 13,000 calves less than in the year 1876, the price of meat was lower in 1877 than in 1876. It had been said that this was not a farmer's question, but a consumer's question entirely. He totally disagreed with this statement, and maintained that it was a farmer's as well as a consumer's question. Much misconception existed with respect to slaughter. It was supposed that the cattle would have to be killed as soon as they set foot in England. Such was not the case. They might be kept for 14 days or longer, until the state of the market justified their destruction. He thought they should allow a large margin, in order that there might be no forced sales. That was a point which ought to be placed distinctly before the country.


said, if the Amendment had interfered with the second reading of the Bill it would not have received his support; but his right hon. Friend wished distinctly to point out that the 5th Schedule involved a principle to which he demurred—namely, that all fat cattle coming to this country from the Continent of Europe should be slaughtered at the port of arrival. Transatlantic cattle might, as a rule, come into this country; whereas all European animals must be slaughtered at the port of debarkation. If his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would state in his reply that Her Majesty's Government were ready to examine the 5th Schedule in order to see whether alterations could be made so as to admit healthy animals from healthy sources—whether from America, Portugal, Spain, or Denmark—he should no longer support the Amendment. But if his hon. Friend should say that the principle of the Bill was embodied in the 5th Schedule, he must decline to be a party to a restriction which would raise the price of the food of the people, while it would afford no protection to the farmers at home. It was of the greatest importance to the manufacturing classes of this country that the food of the people should be as cheap as possible. If the English workman were to be kept ahead of the foreign workman, he must be well paid, well housed, and well fed. He had no fear of the competition if our workmen were well provided for. Some hon. Members, however, in their eagerness to prevent an increase in the price of food, seemed to ignore the danger which might arise from the importation of these dreadful diseases among cattle. In the Select Committee of which he was a Member he moved the following Proviso— Provided that the Privy Council shall have the power from time to time to remove countries out of the list of scheduled countries when they are convinced that such countries are free from cattle plague, pleuro-pneumonia, and foot-and-mouth disease. This was what he contended for now. Restrictions might be necessary; but he would only apply them in unmistakable cases of disease. He had asked the Secretary of the Royal Agricultural Society as to where he could get the best information as to the food supply of this Kingdom, and he had referred to a Paper by the late Sir H. Meysey Thompson on that subject, and on the careful calculations of that Paper—as regarded the supply of cattle for the meat market from the English herd, and the weight of foreign cattle—he had based his figures. It appeared that while in 1874 we had 6,125,000 head of cattle in this country, we had in 1877 only 5,600,000. The former number would produce, according to the above authority, 8,200,000 cwt. of meat, and the latter number 7,600,000 cwt., and he bogged his manufacturing friends to remember that these figures showed that we were consuming a much less supply of meat from our own herds in 1877 than we were in 1874, and were paying upwards of £1,800,000 sterling across the water more than we would have been if we had kept our herds up to the mark at which they had been in 1874. Coming to the diseases with which we had to contend, he thought' that no one had shown in the debate what an important bearing these had on the meat supply. He agreed that the Bill was not intended to deal with the cattle plague. During the last 12 years the amount of this disease was comparatively small, and we know how to deal with it effectually. With regard to pleuro-pneumonia, the quantity of it had been very even, and represented a loss of £50,000 a-year. He came to the conclusion arrived at by his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Playfair), that this Bill would not have been brought in to eradicate pleuro-pneumonia if that had been the only disease to be dealt with. What they were trying to deal with was the effect of foot-and-mouth disease on the herds of the country; and while his right hon. Friend and other hon. Members contended that the herds of this country had not been decreased by fear of that disease, he took an entirely different view of the question. He had no doubt, from his communication with farmers and from other sources of information, that the quantity of cattle was less, not so much because of the poor times which farmers had had than because they were afraid to add to or to move their herds. And, therefore, he came to the conclusion that for want of a strong and stringent Act dealing with foot-and-mouth disease we had been paying foreigners money which ought to have remained in this country. As to the manner in which disease had come among us, he thought it was quite plain that, although it had obtained a great hold in this country, most of it had come from abroad. The next question which arose was, was there any chance of stamping it out? Reference had been made by several hon. Members to Denmark, and there they had had no cattle plague since 1772, and no pleuro-pneumonia since 1861. As regarded foot-and-mouth disease, there were, in 1872, 19 cases of it in Denmark; in 1873, four cases; in 1874, eight cases; and in 1875 130 cases on 13 farms having 147 cattle. In the last-named year a strict law was made for the prevention of cattle plague, pleuro-pneumonia, and foot-and-mouth disease; those laws were made to assimilate, and in 1876 there was in Denmark but one case of foot-and-mouth disease on one farm. Under the regulations there, when any of these three diseases broke out in a particular place it was at once localized and no communication with it was allowed, and all articles, such as hides and skins, were prohibited from Germany. Professor Brown thought that if the law were made as strict in this country as it had been in Denmark foot-and-mouth disease might be stamped out in a few months. This was a case in which we could have no half measures; we must go in and stamp it out, if practicable, or the matter had better be left almost alone. If the disease could be brought to a minimum at home by regulations, the next question was, what regulations should be adopted in order to keep it out from abroad? What they were driving at was a maximum of safety with a minimum of regulation. His hon. Friend opposite (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), who never arrived at conclusions without good reason, had suggested in his draft report that Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and America should only be placed in the Schedule on the breaking out of disease. He was quite prepared to go further than this, and that slaughtering should be the rule, and that the admission of animals from safe places should be the exception, leaving it to the discretion of the Privy Council. It was impossible to lay down a stringent law saying what countries were safe and what were dangerous. There was another point which must be looked at, and that was the present state of America, Europe, and our own country. It was true—and he believed it would be emphatically true in the future—that we would have an enormous supply of meat from the United States and Canada. But, at the same time, the home demand was very limited in the present state of trade; but whenever trade became less depressed the demand would exceed the supply, and it would be incumbent on the House to do nothing that could possibly add a fraction to the cost of meat. He would show what was the present state of things during the last 10 years in three or four large towns where trade was not brisk. In Edinburgh, 18,000 head of cattle, in 1866, had become, 10 years afterwards, in 1876, 39,000; in Glasgow, 48,000 had become 73,000; in Liverpool, 112,000 had become 156,000; in Newcastle, 45,000 had become 103,000; and in Manchester, 100,000 had become 167,000 head —being an increase of 57 per cent He doubted very much whether, without the American supply, meat would be much lower in price than it was at the present time; and he had no doubt that in future the principal trade would be rather in live than in dead meat. It was all very well to say that the meat supply would adjust and arrange itself; the figures which he had seen had led him to the conclusion that it was the duty of the Government to admit a large number of live animals into the country. At Falmouth 4,000 animals had been admitted during the year, principally from Spain and Portugal, and none of them were diseased. They were principally sent into the mining district around, and kept by the butchers until there was a demand for the supply of meat. Nor had there been any disease among the 3,000 sent to Glasgow, or the 5,000 sent to Leith, or among the 17,000 sent from Canada to Liverpool, or the 34,000 from Denmark and Sweden to Newcastle. They were all spread abroad throughout the country, and held over by the butchers until a supply of meat was required by the people. But the 690 cases of disease were almost entirely shared between London and Hull, and were found in French, Belgian, and Dutch animals. He believed that the effect of the 5th Schedule of the Bill would be simply to add to the price of foreign animals without giving any protection against disease to the farmer; as regarded compensation he had approved the course adopted by the Committee. It had been proved that in the event of disease breaking out whole dairies had been broken up at the great risk of spreading disease; and he felt convinced that full compensation for a few animals would be cheaper in the long run than two-thirds or half spread over a large number of herds destroyed. If the system which had been established in Denmark were carried out more extensively, the doctrine of free trade would be further carried out, and farmers would be able to breed more and sell more; and if it should happen that they had to sell at a rather lower price, they would be benefited as well as the consumer. It had been said that the farmers were often obliged to part with their stock; but he had never known an instance of a banker refusing credit to a farmer when he had a good show of stock, for his credit was generally in proportion to his stock. His right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford went so far with him as to say that if they had to keep before them—as ho was sure the House must be anxious to do—the expediency of securing a cheap and good supply of food for the people of this country; they must vest a discretionary power somewhere. When the right hon. Member for Bradford was in Office he did not hesitate to deal with the question; and he was sure that right hon. Gentlemen opposite would not refuse to deal with it. The discretion ought to be vested in the Privy Council of, on the one hand, admitting cattle into this country wherever and whenever it could be done without any danger of damaging the health of our herds; and, on the other hand, of excluding such importations from particular countries, whenever that course was really necessary. That was the true solution of that problem. The effect of the 5th Schedule would be to increase the price of meat. If the Bill went into Committee, as he hoped it would, he trusted that the Government would work nearer to the lines of the Report of the Select Committee, and would not deal with cattle coming from countries which were as pure as our own, as if they were afraid of touching them.


expressed his thanks to the Government for having introduced the Bill, which, it was to hoped, the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. Pease) and his Colleagues on the Select Committee would assist in passing, and in rendering as complete a measure as possible for carrying out the objects for which it had been brought in. It had been objected to compulsory slaughter at the ports of landing that it would lead to great waste; but the cattle landed would be placed in well-ventilated and good lairs, and, possibly, in some cases in pastures, where they would await the requirements of the consumer; whereas at present they were taken from ships very often in the most filthy condition, placed in lairs that were equally filthy, driven thence to the railway stations, and brought at last to slaughter-houses, reeking with all sorts of abominations, in anything but a wholesome state. It had been alleged by the opponents of the Bill that pleuro-pneumonia and foot-and-mouth disease were not of foreign origin; but he found by official Returns, that during the three years ending on the 31st of March, 1877, the number of foreign cattle imported into this country was 12,380, of which 13 cargoes were affected by pleuro-pneumonia, and 1,381 affected by foot-and-mouth disease; and although those diseases might have become naturalized in this country, it was a reflection upon ourselves if we had allowed them to become so. The stock of this country was alleged to be diminishing, and the statistics of the last few years afforded fair proof that that was the fact. Farmers were a most enduring class. They saw their cattle and their stocks declining, and for a long time they had desired such a measure as this. The time had now arrived for passing a satisfactory measure on this subject. He believed that the Bill, besides dealing with the subject of cattle plague, would do much good in many other respects. It would tend to promote a more humane treatment of animals. It would tend to promote better accommodation in ships for the cattle imported, and better care of them when they arrived in this country. He believed the Bill would tend very much to relieve the agriculture of this country from a serious drawback, and at the same time to increase, rather than to diminish, the food of the people, and he still gave his hearty support to the second reading.


said, that most of the Members who represented county constituencies spoke in favour of the Bill, whilst those who represented the boroughs opposed it. He hoped, however, it would not be assumed that this was a question of the counties against the towns, or the manufacturing against the agricultural interest. Those who were most interested in manufacture and trade were also interested in the prosperity of agriculture and the healthiness of their flocks and herds; because the prosperity of the farmers of this country was the support of our home trade, which was the best and most reliable portion of our trade, whilst they obtained the most wholesome food and at the lowest prices when the flocks and herds of the country were in a healthy state. Therefore, the Representatives of towns would be blind to the interest of their fellow-countrymen, if they opposed the Bill for any other reason than their conviction that it would do harm to the country generally. The Bill was based on the assumption that the diseases with which our cattle were afflicted were imported, and that by internal regulations and slaughter at the port this country might again free itself from disease and secure immunity for its home flocks. The allegation that these diseases were imported had been disputed, and it had been abundantly shown that this country suffered very much from disease long before there were free imports. He found in the Report of the Agricultural Congress in connection with the Paris Exhibition, that one of the greatest authorities in Europe on this subject maintained that various cattle diseases could be, and often were, spontaneously engendered; but, whether they were or not, our intramural dairies should be treated, in a sanitary point of view, the same as intramural interments had been, for they were the hotbeds of disease and infection, and at least 70 per cent of our diseased animals proceeded from them. And whether the diseases were engendered in this country or imported, all would agree that they had become naturalized. It was almost too much to assume that 40,000,000 of cattle and sheep in this country should be entirely free from disease; but there were ample means for dealing with it by the poleaxe and cremation, and those must be adopted when it manifested itself in foreign stock. Hon. Members contended that cattle disease could be stamped out. The hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read) declared that the provisions of the Bill would do that. He (Mr. Mundella) thought that hon. Gentleman was the only Member of the House who had the courage to make that statement; for all the Members representing the agricultural interest who had spoken, on both sides of the House, declared the utter inefficiency of the provisions of the Bill to accomplish any such result. The hon. and gallant Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) asked, if 300 or 400 Irish cattle came over and one was infected, were they to kill that one and let the 299 or 399 others go over the country to propagate the disease? And Professor Gamgee said that nothing short of slaughter at the port of debarkation would be of any use; and he maintained that dead meat itself would introduce cattle plague unless very great care was taken. Why, the insufficiency of the home regulations might be inferred from the speeches of hon. Members representing agricultural constituencies. All that the supporters of the Resolution asked was, that the same powerful machinery should be employed in regard to home cattle as was to be employed in the case of foreign cattle. It was admitted on all hands that the European nations would not send animals to be slaughtered at the port of debarkation. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, in his speech last year, told them as much; and to nine out of ten of the speeches made in support of this Bill the best answer that could be given was that speech of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. It was said that a dead meat trade would grow up instead of the live cattle trade, and the Aberdeen and American dead meat trade was mentioned to show what could be done. No doubt if all the meat came to hand in the same condition as that which came from Aberdeen, it would be a great thing for the industrial populations. But the Aberdeen trade was one which was entirely in the hands of the dealer, who received a telegram in the morning, took the cattle fresh from the green pastures, slaughtered just as many as were required, and in 24 hours they would be in the London market. As to the American trade, no doubt the quantity sent last year from America was astonishing; but he had no doubt, notwithstanding Mr. Gillett, that that trade would ultimately change into one of live cattle. Mr. Gillett said that he had sold 1,100 quarters of prime beef in fine condition in the London market, and it only realized 3½d. per lb. for side pieces. That simply proved that Mr. Gillett had realized a loss of £4,000; for, according to his own evidence, the meat cost 5d. per lb. in New York. In fact, it was near 5¾d. per lb. He (Mr. Mundella) would rejoice if meat could be bought at 3½d. a-lb. in America and sold at a fair profit in this country; but he believed that the dead meat trade last year was a losing one, and, therefore, as soon as it should be found out that live cattle could be brought over, that would be done. He had received a telegram from Liverpool that sales had been effected at 2d. and 3d. per lb., and that it was dear at the price, as it was unfit for human food. There must have been an enormous loss to the exporters. Another telegram he had received to-day stated that a large quantity of imported American meat was sold at 1d. and 2d.per lb.; that an enormous proportion was utterly unfit for food and valueless, and that no confidence could be placed in that supply in hot weather. The last Report of our Consul at New York, Mr. Archibald, stated that prime beeves were the only cattle fit for shipment, and the lowest price was from 10½ to 10¾ cents per lb. That was on the 8th of January. On the 30th of July the price rose to and 13¾ cents per lb., or from 5¾d. in New York. The Report also showed that there were heavy failures amongst cattle slaughterers last year at New York. The supply of American meat had been a great blessing to this country. It was impossible to tell what the price of meat would have been but for the millions of pounds of beef which they had received from the United States. No country would continue to send us meat, unless the price were such as would compensate for the risks incurred. No doubt the meat trade would grow; but the first condition was security. Would any manufacturer send a cargo of non-perishable cloth on the condition that it must be sold in a particular port in a few days? Such a condition would be ruinous. It would place the trade entirely in the hands of the agent. Such a market would not be a fair or free market. A market must be free in and out. As to the market at Chicago, which he knew well, if the cattle sent there were not sold they could be turned out on the pastures, and kept in good condition until they were required; but when cattle, brought from abroad, were kept in sheds or on the wharves, they soon degenerated in value. He did not think the importation of meat would discourage the general farmer of this country. Our flocks and herds had steadily increased from the year 1866; horned cattle had increased by 1,000,000 since 1867, and sheep by 6,000,000 from 1866 to 1874. The imports had also steadily increased, and there had been an increase in the price of beef and mutton. Taking the five years, 1868–1872, the increase had been in the second class of beef, from 3s.d. per stone to 5s.d. per stone. The price of mutton in the same time had increased from 4s. 1d. to 5s. 11d. per stone. What was the conclusion to which he came? His conclusion was this—they had a prosperous trade during those years; their people were able to buy and consume more. And, as had been truly said, they had drunk the Alabama Award, and had eaten their surplus stock of cattle. Statistics also showed that the same population consumed more bacon, cheese, potatoes, wheat, and flour, and sugar imported from abroad. Owing to the increased consumption of meat there was a scarcity, and the price was consequently high, and now the Bill proposed to further limit the supply, and such limitation would increase the cost out of all proportion to the diminution. A diminution of 6 per cent in the supply of coals caused them to go up 200 per cent in price. In raw sugar a rise of 40 per cent in price once followed a falling-off in the supply of 5 per cent. A rise of 1½d. per lb. in the price of meat meant an increased expenditure for the same quantity of £20,000,000 sterling. Suppose America became infected, they could not cut off the American supply and keep out the European too. If the few healthy countries became infected, could they keep out French cattle? He should vote for the Amendment of his right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Forster), and he hoped that the House would not allow the Bill to pass without giving the Privy Council full discretion to permit the importation of healthy stock, from whatever country they might come.


said, it would be useless to stamp out diseases in our own herds and flocks if they were allowed to be re-imported. He could not help thinking that those who considered the restrictions placed upon home flocks and herds as too lenient, had not given due consideration to the question before the House. With regard to the cattle plague, it was agreed on both sides that the restrictions were good. In regard to the question whether foreign regulations were too stringent and too severe, he believed that inspection at the port of debarkation was illusory, and that the only way to prevent disease was by slaughter. This did not mean that the beast was to be slaughtered when it came off the vessel. It might be kept and fed for some days. If diseased cattle arrived at a port, it became an "infected place," which no cattle could leave until the place could be declared to have been free from disease for 56 days; and as British cattle would not be allowed to leave such a place, he could not see why foreign cattle should be allowed to do so. It would be wrong in him at that hour to detain the House; but he felt strongly that they must not be led to a false conclusion by a fear that their foreign meat trade would be less owing to the passing of this Bill. They might depend upon it that, as long as they were able to pay the best prices for foreign food, so long would it continue to come to these shores. They must not forget that these fat cattle came here for the express purpose of being slaughtered. The question was not whether they should be slaughtered or not, but where and when they should be slaughtered? It was argued that a discretion ought to be left with the Privy Council. This, he thought, would be very prejudicial. It would impart a feeling of insecurity and uncertainty to the trade. He, for one, sincerely hoped that the Government would not display any hesitation in dealing with this question; for if the Bill were to realize its purpose, the great principle of slaughtering foreign cattle at the point of debarkation must not be given up. He should not argue the point as to whether the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) was too blind to see the merits of this Bill; but he thought there were many Members on both, sides who were sane enough to accept it. He should vote for the Bill, because he believed it would be the means of cheapening the food of the country.


Sir, those hon. Members who had seats in this House 10 years ago, in the last year of the last Parliament but one, will remember that we were engaged in a struggle exactly similar to that which the Government by its feebleness has now forced upon us. Those of us on this side of the House fought and won the battle for free trade; and hon. Members on that side of the House fought and lost the battle for restriction. I hope that a Parliament based upon household suffrage will not sacrifice the great principle which the last Parliament, elected upon a more limited suffrage, gallantly maintained. There are some hon. Members in this House who cannot forget with what reluctance in 1868, Mr. Disraeli, as Leader of the House, undertook the service of his agricultural taskmasters, and how, on the first decent occasion, he threw up his work, scarcely concealing his contempt for the object for which he had striven. I believe the Chancellor of the Exchequer occupies to-night the same position which was occupied by Mr. Disraeli 10 years ago. This Bill seems to have been forced upon a reluctant Government. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman, with his large information, his economic knowledge, and with his, in the main, sound political instincts, would willingly undertake, even by a well-drilled majority, to pass such a Bill as this. The Government cannot approve of the Bill. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who introduced it in the House of Lords, made a speech last year against its chief provisions. The Secretary to the Treasury (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), as Chairman of our Committee last year, opposed the slaughtering clause of this Bill, since which time no new facts have been adduced to justify his change of conduct. On Monday last, when he introduced this Bill to the House, it was quite clear that he spoke with painful reluctance. He did not address the House with the energy that ordinarily belongs to him; there was a languor in his speech which communicated itself to the benches behind him; and it appeared to me, as I looked upon hon. Members opposite, that they felt they were engaged in an indefensible and an impossible cause. The Government by this Bill attacks one of the most important articles of the food of the people. In this country, happily, most articles of food are as cheap as in any other thickly-peopled country. We have corn at the world's price; we have sugar cheap and groceries cheap; but there is one article which is dear, which is becoming dearer, and which is essentially necessary to the welfare of the people, and it is that article which a Conservative Government attacks by this Bill. Let us look for a moment at the condition of the country upon which this restrictive measure is to be imposed. The soil produces less in proportion to the population that lives upon it than the soil of any other country in the world. We are essentially dependent upon imports; we cannot live without them. This is one of the most sunless countries in Europe. In our industrial counties the people have to live the greater part of their lives under a leaden sky, subject to wet and cold. In such a climate they cannot live on vegetables alone, as may be the case in the South of Europe. There is more hard and continuous labour performed in this country—not in the open air, but in closed rooms—than anywhere else. It is notorious that people employed as our people are require stimulating food; and it is in the face of these facts and under these conditions that the Government, at this late period of the Session, undertakes to reverse the policy of 30 years, and to deprive us of the freedom to obtain healthy cattle wherever healthy cattle are to be found. It is somewhat singular that we are to be deprived of that freedom at a time when the Prime Minister is engaged at a European Congress in protecting the freedom of Europe. This Bill has nothing to do with the cattle plague; and people out-of-doors have been somewhat misled by the notion that it had to do with the cattle plague. It was shown distinctly before the Committee of last year that since the first appearance of rinderpest, the Government has been armed with ample powers to control it; and on two occasions when it has appeared since the terrible scourge of 1865 and 1866, it has been stamped out at a cost of less than £20,000. With regard to other diseases, the evidence is most conflicting; but everybody knows it was declared by some of the highest authorities that disease was not materially increased by foreign importation. You have no right to base a Bill like this on conflicting evidence. There ought to be a great preponderance of evidence in one direction before you pass such a Bill. How can foreign disease be materially increased by importation, when you consider the stringency of our regulations on importation? If one animal be diseased in a cargo of say 500, the 499 have to- be slaughtered. With such a rule it is almost impossible to bring disease into the country. I undertake to say that disease has been mainly spread by the movement of cattle and the absence of regulations at home, and by the introduction of cattle without any restriction from Ireland; and if we had a Government that acted impartially on its own information, and that was not weak enough to yield to the clamour behind it, if the Government felt it necessary to legislate at all, it would impart to the regulations at home some of the rigour of the regulations that refer to the introduction of cattle from abroad. If the Government had taken that course, no man in this House will dispute that disease would have rapidly disappeared. That ought to be the first step; if it is found that it does not succeed, then, but not till then, let other measures be proposed. I maintain that the effect of this Bill will be to reduce the imports of food from abroad. I have listened to many speeches made in the course of the debate, and it appears to me it has been conclusively proved that if you pass this Bill you will have less food from abroad. What said the Government last year, speaking through the Duke of Richmond and Gordon? That in the six years ending 1869, when the French cattle traffic was free, we imported 112, 618 cattle. In 1870 France was scheduled and her cattle slaughtered at the port of debarkation, with the result that in seven years we imported only 24,095 cattle. The noble Duke explained the cause of this remarkable falling-off. He said— If they brought over to this country a quantity of fat stock, and the market was not good when the animals came in, they could be kept over for the next."—[3 Hansard, ccxxxiii. 101.] Or, in other words, that compulsory slaughter meant compulsory sale, and with compulsory sale the importer is not allowed to wait for the best price, and so his trade is injured or destroyed. The following is a statement of the Corporation of Southampton:— That for several years there was a large importation of cattle from Normandy and Brittany to Southampton, but upon the issue of the Order of the Privy Council, requiring the same to be slaughtered at the place of landing, the supply wholly ceased. That if all foreign cattle be slaughtered at the place of landing, as proposed by the Bill, the present supply from Spain and Portugal would, as in the case of Normandy and Brittany, wholly cease. A fact like that is worth any number of opinions. I have not heard any hon. Member deny that fact; and it is only a sample of many others. The hon. Baronet who introduced the Bill admitted that 261,000 fewer animals were imported into this country in 1877 than in 1876, and he endeavoured to argue away the significance of these figures; but the right hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster), in his convincing speech, dealt with these figures, and showed that, in the main, the diminution was produced by compulsory slaughter. Why has the Government made a change in. the Bill by excluding America from, the stringent slaughtering clause? Not because it was shown that America was free from disease—that was not the reason. The Government framed its Bill in that way with regard to America because it was conclusively shown in the House of Lords that the American trade would be destroyed by compulsory slaughter. But admitting that conclusion was like knocking the bottom out of the Bill; for if the Government is forced to admit that compulsory slaughter would destroy the American trade, it must, surely, admit that it would destroy or lessen the trade from all other countries. A good deal has been said about the dead meat trade of Aberdeen; but there is no compulsory slaughter in Aberdeen, and it may send its cattle alive or dead as it pleases. It was explained by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) that Aberdeen, by the use of the railway and the telegraph, can adopt its supplies to the requirements of the London market. It is a totally different thing to be in a foreign country and to have to send off the cattle at a given time, by a given steamer, no matter what the state of the market is. If hon. Members opposite believe that restrictions do not interfere with trade, there is one more fact I should like to refer to. In 1842 we began our imports of foreign cattle, which date from the measures of that distinguished statesman, Sir Robert Peel. For a period of 23 years our imports continued to increase. In 1865 our imports reached their maximum. From 1865 up to now there has not been a year in which we have had so large an import as in that year. This is surely an extraordinary thing. Since 1865 we had added 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 to our population; meat has risen greatly in price; and yet we have never had so much importation as we had in that year. The reason is, that in that year began the restrictions that have so much harassed trade; it is owing to them that the imports have fallen off. In reply to all this hon. Members say—Shut out foreign cattle and you will shut out foreign disease, and when farmers have nothing to fear they will increase their stock of cattle. But it has been shown that in 1839, when we had ten times less connection with the Continent than even this Bill will allow, we suffered to an extraordinary degree from foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia. If the people of Manchester, whom I represent on this question, was asked to shut out the supply of foreign food on such arguments, they would say that the reasons given are altogether inconclusive; they would say that if you had more disease before you had free trade in cattle, you cannot reasonably ask us to shut Lout foreign cattle in the hope that we may thereby get rid of disease. With regard to the theory that farmers would have more cattle if they had more confidence or less fear of disease, I dispute it, because the facts are against the theory. The period of the rinderpest in 1866 was the time when farmers had the greatest anxiety and the greatest distrust, and when, in fact, they were in a state of panic; and from that time, according to this theory, the number of cattle in this country ought to have decreased. But from 1867 to 1874 there was a remarkable increase. In 1867 we had in the United Kingdom 8,731,473 cattle. In 1874 we had 10,281,036, or an increase of about 16 per cent. In that period over which the cattle plague cast its shadow, the increase in the number of cattle was in much larger proportion than the increase of population. From 1874 to 1877 there was a decrease, and what we had heard from the hon. Member for Sheffield and other hon. Members will explain it. We have had three or four unfortunate seasons; farmers have been losing money everywhere; and I am told by landlords that they are losing their tenants, and are scarcely able to let their farms. These facts show that farmers were getting impoverished, and, if so, it is absurd to suppose they would have as much cattle on their land as they had before. I contend that there is no proof that stock has diminished because of the fear of disease; and, however much may be hoped from this Bill by the farmers, the theory of an increase in the number of cattle can be demonstrated to be extremely doubtful. The hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read) and the hon. and learned Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. Rod-well) spoke in very sympathetic terms about the consumer. They did not seem to think or care much about the farmer; but they cared a great deal for the consumer. It is very remarkable if, that be so, that the fat stock for the consumer is to be absolutely shut out, and the lean stock for the farmer is to be let in. When you let in lean stock, and hides, hoofs, and horns; to ask us to exclude fat stock from fear of disease is to ask us to take a most irrational course. In the evidence taken last year it was shown that if disease existed at the port of embarkation, and if we imported nothing but dead meat, we might still import disease; and, therefore, if this Bill were to pass, the day might come when we should be asked even to exclude dead meat from coming into the country. There is a direct and there is an indirect evil which may be expected to result from the operation of this Bill. The direct evil is that 1d. per lb. or more may be added to the price of meat. If 1d. more were to be paid, it would come to £16,000,000 per annum, or something like an income tax of 10d. in the pound. What is the indirect evil? Why, at a moment when the manufactures of this country have to contend with great competition, difficulties are to be placed in the way of our obtaining food, and that food is to be sent to our competitors abroad. These restrictions will produce irritation, and irritation may produce retaliation; and when we go from capital to capital, as our merchants do to influence people in favour of free trade with this country, we shall have this matter thrown in our faces. The law as it stands was passed in 1869. It is most stringent, and is in favour of the farmer. We of the towns have patiently submitted to it, and the Government ought not to have disturbed it. Under that law the Privy Council has power to prohibit a country, to place it in the Schedule; or, in other words, to subject its cattle to compulsory slaughter, or to leave it free. At the present moment the cattle from Russia, Germany, and Belgium are prohibited; from France, Holland, and Schleswig they are scheduled; and they are only free from the following five countries:—Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, and Portugal. Heavy as are these restrictions, if the people permit it they are to be made still heavier. The Bill is supported with the benevolent design of enabling the farmers of the United Kingdom to produce more meat. Suppose that the fear of disease is one reason why more meat is not produced, I wonder whether there may not be other reasons which deserve the consideration of the House. We had before the Committee a former Member of this House (Mr. Howard, of Bedford), and this was part of his examination— 8,335. Have you not known farmers who, in spite of all this, if they had capital and anything like energy, could produce a vast amount of meat?—Some farms in England produce three times what others do. 8,336. In spite of this fear of diseases?—Yes. Of course they are not the only reasons for a smaller supply of animal food being raised than could be raised. 8,337. You think that, besides the fear of disease, there are other influential reasons which deter the farmers from producing a large amount of meat?—There are very grave reasons. 8338. What sort of reasons?—Seeing that he great bulk of the country have not had, nor do they have now, security of capital, that has a very great influence in diminishing the supply of meat. Of course the want of security brings in another question which is a cognate one—namely, social position. If a man has not security he has not independence, and if he has not independence he has not social position; and the tendency of that is to drive men of spirit and men of capital out of farming. In my time I have known a vast amount of capital repelled from agriculture. Of course the game laws, to a certain extent, interfere with the production of meat. In a limited country with an unlimited population—the increase being 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 every 10 years—with a territorial system which repels capital from the land, on the flimsiest of reasons urged by interested persons, the evil of the course we are invited to take being certain, the good more than doubtful, in circumstances like these, a Government, calling itself Conservative, proposes to force this Bill through the House, and once again to try the perilous experiment of creating a monopoly in the food of the people. If this Bill become law, it may have consequences which hon. Members have not contemplated. This, I am sure, they will admit—if the people of our great towns had not long ago had access to the granaries of the world, the territorial system of this country would have been changed. They would never have tolerated any system except that which produced the greatest amount of food; and if this Bill passes, and the feeling begins to grow that with our great and growing population we are condemned to take only the produce of our own limited soil, and are shut out from the meat supplies of the world, serious questions will be asked which hon. Members will have to prepare to answer. The right hon. Member for Bradford is a greater authority upon the question than any other Member of the House. He proved the Bill to be a sham as regards the home arrangements. Believing it will limit the supply of food for the people, I shall be prepared to join those Members who feel it to be their duty to offer every opposition that the Forms of the House will permit at the various stages of the Bill.


said, the hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin) had referred to this Bill as the mere ghost of protection; but ghosts were only said to visit the earth when the body had been slain, for the purpose of vexing the living. He did not charge the hon. Member, or other hon. Gentlemen, with having the motive of Protection in view when they supported the Bill now before the House. Motives were not always easily understood; but what, as men of business and as men of the world, they had to look at, were the consequences of a certain course of action, and not the motives by which those consequences were produced. It was an old saying—and he believed it was a very true one—that the greatest mischiefs in the world had been the result of action taken by the best-intentioned people; and he wanted to guard against a blunder of the kind being committed on the present occasion. The measure now before the House might not be protectionist merely because it placed restrictions upon a foreign commodity. That was not the true test; let hon. Members see whether the Bill would be protectionist in its results. Was it proposed to apply, under similar circumstances, the same treatment to home cattle which it was proposed to apply to foreign cattle? What was the proposed treatment of foreign cattle? He thought he was correct in describing it as the indiscriminate slaughter at the port of entry of cattle from suspected and unsuspected countries alike. In that way it was evident that the trade would become a dead meat trade; but when, in fear of cattle disease some years ago, a sanitary cordon was drawn round London, the cattle dealers insisted upon the withdrawal of the cordon in order that they might remove their cattle alive from Islington and sell them in any of the provincial markets which were open for the sale of cattle. This was done, and therefore the argument that the Bill would not constitute a forced market—as compared with what happened 10 years ago—fell to the ground. That provision found no place in the Bill, which was intended to stamp out the disease. What he wished to argue—and most persons would agree with him—was, that the Bill must needs be prejudicial to the trade. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon had objected to its principle last year on that very ground, and had given instances from the French trade, bringing forward the fact that while no fewer than 112,618 head of cattle had come in during the six years ending 1869, during the seven years following 1869 the number had fallen to 24,095. Now it stood to reason that in hot weather, such as had lately been experienced, the trade could not be conducted if they insisted on compulsory slaughter. Live beasts might, in such weather, be sent into the country, but not dead meat. It had been urged that the ports would be largely benefited; but that could not be the case except by a very short-sighted policy, of which the newly-elected Member for Southampton (Mr. Giles) had disapproved. The Bill appeared to proceed upon the hypothesis that all cattle must come to England. But that was not so at all. There were other countries in the world besides England that wanted cattle, and a very small balance of inconvenience would drive cattle away to other places. Now that was the manner in which the Bill proposed to treat foreign cattle, and the question was, whether it was intended to treat English cattle in the same way? That was the test of the sincerity of those who supported the measure; that was the test of the bona fides of the Bill itself. If it had been intended to apply the same measures to home as to foreign cattle, the first thing the Government should have done would have been to have removed all discretion from the Privy Council. They would not, it seemed, trust that body in the case of foreign cattle. The hon. Member for South Norfolk (Mr. Clare Read) had, apparently, no very high opinion of the Privy Council, especially in the exercise of their discretionary powers over foreign cattle; and yet, in every clause of the Bill up to the 28th, there was mention of the Privy Council and their discretion. They were to be trusted in the case of rinderpest, of foot-and-mouth disease, and of pleuro-pneumonia; but, according to the hon. Member, not in the matter of foreign cattle. For his own part, he could not share the distrust expressed by the hon. Member, considering that they had more than once been successful in putting down the cattle plague. He wished to know whether the home counties were less to be suspected than the foreign countries to which the very stringent rules were to be applied? The hon. Member had described the state of Norfolk, and he could not understand why the regulations should be applied, not to Norfolk, but to the countries enumerated in the Schedule; nor could he discover a single reason why the cattle of Spain and Portugal should be treated more harshly than those of Norfolk. If the measure were of a bonâ fide character it would embody no such anomaly. And, surely, if the dead meat trade was the best in the world, all the Norfolk cattle had better be killed and sent to London. The hon. Member for South Norfolk had said that nothing could be bettor than the dead meat trade, and had given so charming a description, of cool cellars and grottoes that one might almost wish to be converted into dead meat; but he had not expressed any wish that the Norfolk or Lincolnshire meat should be stowed in them, because he knew perfectly well that compulsory slaughter would paralyze his trade. The regulations, in short, were admirable for Spain or Denmark, but not for England. He maintained that this Bill was framed contrary to the advice of all scientific experts whose evidence had been given on this particular subject. The hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire had characterized those experts as muddle-headed Professors, and had said that we ought rather to take the advice of practical men, by whom he presumably meant farmers and country gentlemen. He would like to have more independent evidence than that of the farmers and country gentlemen; and it appeared him that the scientific evidence was exactly the sort of independent testimony that was required. Yet the hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire rejected it altogether.


explained, that he said, with regard to the opinion of the farmers as to whether they wore prepared to accept these restrictions or not, we must take the opinion of their own Representatives, and not the opinion of different Professors.


remarked, that if the farmers were willing to accept equal restrictions with the foreigner, he should be glad to support the Bill. Upon this subject it was impossible to reject the opinion of such men as Professor Simonds and Professor Brown, both of whom said it would be ridiculous to stop imports until we put in force with regard to the home trade regulations which they did not believe would be submitted to. Such restrictions were even more stringent than those recommended by the Committee of 1877. That Committee recommended that no further restrictions should be placed on the importation of foreign cattle in respect to foot-and-disease and pleuro-pneumonia, unless at the same time Orders were enforced throughout Great Britain in every district where disease existed, prohibiting all movement of cattle, except under a licence, and also that fairs and markets should be under similar restrictions. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had not accepted these restrictions, and yet they said the present Bill was a measure for stamping out disease. There was another remarkable thing about the Bill. These recommendations had been partially accepted with reference to pleuro-pneumonia. The Bill contained a prohibition as to pleuro-pneumonia in districts and markets, and the restrictions were also applied to foot-and-mouth disease in the Bill as it first appeared in the House of Lords. They had, however, disappeared. Did they disappear at the instance of the farmers, who, according to the hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire, were anxious to have these restrictions imposed? He knew, at least, one of the reasons why they had disappeared. Two interesting speeches had been made by Gentlemen who represented counties, in Ireland. Those Gentlemen said "There is too much restriction in the Bill already, and if you attempt to introduce any more, we will have nothing to do with it." In his opinion, if anything were done to make the Bill more efficient in respect of home restrictions, the Secretary to the Treasury would have a good deal of trouble from, the Irish Members. But did anyone representing English agricultural interests maintain that Irish cattle were less infected than Spanish, or Portuguese, or Danish cattle? If not, why did they not apply the same rule to cattle coming from Ireland, and say they must be slaughtered at Liverpool? Simply because they dared not make such a proposal. This, then, was the situation. The Government could not increase the restrictions on home cattle, because there was an opposition which they could not face. They could not relax or diminish the restrictions on foreign cattle, because the English farmers and their Representatives would not allow them to do so. That was the true history of the utterly illogical and indefensible character of this Bill. If they would be fair in the matter, and treat the foreign on the same footing as the home cattle, they would leave it to the discretion of the Privy Council. But the way in which it was proposed to deal with the matter in this Bill was unequal and unjust. It was a measure of Protection, not against disease, but against competition. Again, let the measure be tested in another way. Fat cattle were to be slaughtered, but lean stock and store stock were to be admitted under quarantine. Was one kind less infectious than the other? No; but the English farmer wanted the one, and he did not want the other. There was, no doubt, a great deal of division in that House on the subject of the Bill, although it was not, so to speak, a longitudinal division. He was sorry to find himself on the present occasion entirely opposed to his hon. Friend and Relative who represented the county of Oxford. But then they approached the question from different points of view. His hon. Friend and Relative was a proprietor of land and the owner of flocks and herds, while for himself he belonged to the class of lacklanders, and represented a borough. His hon. Friend said his constituents wore in favour of the Bill; but both the Corporation and the inhabitants of the city of Oxford had presented Petitions against it. He had listened, he might add, that evening with great attention to the speech of the hon. Member for Preston (Mr. Hermon), who, he observed, often exercised an independent judgment on questions which came before the House. The speech of the hon. Gentleman that evening was very satisfactory; because, though he said he would vote for the second reading of the Bill, he announced it to be his intention to oppose the third reading, which was, on the whole, perhaps the most important stage. But his speech was throughout one against the Bill. The hon. Gentleman was in favour of discretion being vested in the Privy Council, in favour of admitting a great number of foreign countries to the traffic in live cattle, and of imposing greater restrictions on home cattle for the purpose of stamping out disease. In short, it was impossible for a speech to be more conclusive against the Bill than that of the hon. Gentleman. Again, there was the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ritchie), who had the other night spoken very much to the same effect and who entered his protest against the statement of a Cabinet Minister that he was a warm supporter of the measure That was a course which naturally prevailed among Members who represented boroughs. He was the Representative of a borough which wanted truck loads of beef from Southampton, and they got them now and then from Spain and Portugal. How could they have got hem last week if the Bill before the louse had been law? And those truck loads of beef, he might remark, although they might form but a small proportion of the consumption of the place, yet, owing to the mere fact of their being obtainable, served to control prices. There was, besides, the question of offal, which, although not a very savoury, was a very important one. Nothing had left on his mind a more lasting impression than the evidence which had, 10 years ago, been given with respect to offal before the Committee to which he dad already referred. It furnished food for the poorer classes who could not afford to buy the better parts of the beef. As matters at present stood, if a truck load of beef arrived from Southampton in Oxford, the poorer inhabitants had the benefit of the offal—such as the hearts and livers of the animals—but if they were killed at Southampton, the offal would certainly not find its way to Oxford. It was a commodity of a cheap character, and would not bear the expense of carriage. Even with respect to the importer an injustice would be created, for he would not, and could not, have so good a market for his offal; or, at all events, would have to sell it at a reduced price. The House ought to listen, he maintained, in dealing with the question before it, to the butchers. They were quite as worthy of being attended in a matter affecting consumption as the farmers, although they were looked upon by the hon. Member for South Norfolk as the authors of all evil. As to the question being one of equivalents, his reply to the argument of the hon. Member for Mid-Lincolnshire on that point was—"You take the consideration from us as against the foreign importer; but you do not give the equivalent, which was recommended by your own Committee, which was originally inserted in the Bill, and which was struck out because the farmers will not consent to your restrictions." He was not aware what would be the course taken by the Government in connection with the Bill. They did not seem to take that profound interest in it which might have been expected; but as the subject was one in which the country took a growing interest, no doubt the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have something to say on the matter before the debate closed. He had been rather surprised during the last two hours at seeing the Secretary to the Treasury left by himself in solitary grandeur; it seemed almost as if the Treasury Bench had been declared to be an infected place; but he was sure that the Leader of the House would not allow the whole burden of expressing the decision of the Government on this matter to fall upon him. The Government were placed in a very difficult position with regard to this Bill; because some of their supporters wished that the restrictions against the importation of foreign cattle should be made more strict, while others desired that they should be relaxed; and, on the other hand, there was equal divergence of opinion with regard to the regulations of the home cattle trade. How the Government were going to reconcile the feelings of the hon. Members behind them who were going to vote for the second reading of this Bill he could not surmise. He hoped, however, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would explain to the House what modifications the Government were prepared to introduce into the measure. It was said in reply—" Oh, wait till we get into Committee." But everyone knew that unless the whole question were thoroughly debated on the second reading, there would be very little chance of effecting much by way of change in Committee. Every hon. Member who was prepared to vote for the second reading of this Bill knew that it was of a purely protectionist character, calculated to discourage and eventually to destroy the foreign trade in live cattle, and thus to cause serious injury to the interests of the consumer. On these grounds, he should offer the measure his most strenuous opposition on this and on every other stage.


I am greatly puzzled to know in what way I ought to vote with regard to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster); because, on the one hand, all the arguments seem to me to array themselves upon one side, while all that I know of epidemics as they affect human beings seems to me to coincide with the views of those opposed to this Bill; on the other hand, there can be no doubt that the people of Ireland, and especially that part of it which I represent—the agricultural districts of Ireland—are in favour of the Bill. That feeling was very strongly expressed by a deputation which waited upon the Duke of Richmond and Gordon upon this subject, and the deputation from Ireland was received with great courtesy and kindness by the noble Duke. The deputation was accompanied by a gentleman who is considered a great authority upon agriculture and diseases of cattle—I mean Mr. Baldwin—who stated his opinion that unless this Bill were carried in its present form, it would be utterly useless for the suppression of epidemic diseases. He would not hear of any discretion being given to the Privy Council to permit the importation of live cattle and their transit from the seaports even when the countries from which the cattle came were free from disease. In Ireland, also, the people have been told that the effect of the measure will be to raise the price of cattle £5 per head. I myself have been canvassed to vote for the Bill upon that very ground, and I have no doubt that the Irish people really believe that the effect of it will be to enhance the value of the only commodity in which they deal—namely, cattle. But, I wish to warn the Irish people that the effect of this measure will not be what they think. If they wish to see the real intentions of those who promote the measure, they must not look at the perfectly harmless Bill that we are discussing, to-day, but at the original Bill as it was brought forward in the House of Lords, and to the words—uttered now with bated breath by hon. Gentlemen opposite, but then, loudly enough—with which the Bill was originally introduced in that place. They will see that the Government then believed, and the agricultural classes in the country believed, that the focus of disease against which England ought to be guarded is to be found in Ireland. This is only the thin end of the wedge; this Bill is only one step in the direction of protecting English cattle by putting Ireland under regulations similar to those which it is now proposed to apply to foreign countries. I feel certain that this was the original intention of this Bill, and that, when the Bill has been carried, and the Government has obtained a triumph in this direction, unless the foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia disappear, stringent measures will be taken against Ireland. Therefore, the question is, whether the Bill as it now stands will put an end to foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia? I do not suppose that anyone in their senses will pretend that it will do so. Whatever the origin of these epidemic diseases may be, is a matter of historical and medical interest only. All of these are now acclimatized in this country. They exist in Ireland; and both foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia are as epidemic in Ireland as they are in England and in foreign countries. But we know perfectly well that epidemic diseases affect cattle much in the same way that they affect man. In former ages human beings were subject to the plague and other forms of disease from which we are now happily free. The only known resource was legislation, and it was sought to guard against disease by means of a stringent quarantine. I suppose no one who has travelled 30 years ago has not been exposed to quarantine. In some foreign countries at this moment quarantine is very strictly enforced. But the progress of knowledge has taught us that these precautions are absolutely worthless, unless you also take precautions of a very different kind. We have got rid of many fearful epidemic diseases; we have got rid of the Plague, the Black Death, the Sweating Sickness, and of a variety of epidemics of the Middle Ages, not by quarantine, not by preventing persons coming here or departing from places where the diseases are epidemic, but by better hygienic measures, and by better knowledge as to the mode in which these diseases are to be treated. The whole matter is summed up in the expression—"Greater cleanliness and better means of supplying fresh air and fresh water." That is the way in which we must also seek to get rid of epidemics amongst cattle. We must take better care of the unfortunate creatures which we compel to travel by land and by water in closely-packed railway trucks and steamers. Suppose this Bill is passed, and you cause all foreign cattle to be slaughtered at the port of landing, what effect will that have upon the foot-and-mouth disease or upon pleuro-pneumonia, if you are still to admit infected animals from Ireland into the English market or vice versâ? The Duke of Richmond and Gordon promised the deputation that waited upon him that the double inspection of Irish cattle at the port of embarkation and the port of debarkation should be done away with. Everyone in England says that the inspection of the animals before embarkation in Ireland is exceedingly imperfect. The reason of that is, or is alleged to be, that there is a dearth of veterinary surgeons in that country. Therefore, you require to re-inspect the cattle after they have arrived in England. The noble Duke promised the Irish deputation to do away with the double inspection; but I appeal to them and to the Irish people generally whether, even if the noble Duke is sincere—which I do not doubt—he has the power to carry out a promise such as he has made? When, a clamour arises from the opposite Benches in favour of more stringent measures against the importation of disease from Ireland, what will become of the promises of the noble Duke? What will become of all those promises to the Irish farmers, which have induced them to give their support to this Bill? We shall find that they will go where promises proverbially go. I cannot find it in my conscience to vote in favour of the second reading of this Bill, and I believe my not doing so is very likely to be open to misconstruction in Ireland. At the same time, I would rather do that and suffer the risk of misconstruction than give the Irish people, even by so small a matter as my vote, a gift which I think will bring destruction upon the only trade left to them. Let the Irish people remember this—that if, as has been promised to graziers, the price of Irish cattle be raised for the moment £5 per head, that even then the consumers of meat in the boroughs of Ireland will suffer in their supply. So far from desiring to increase the price of food, I think it is our duty to do everything we can to decrease it, because cheapness of production and active trade go together. The people are badly enough fed in Ireland at the present moment. I do not wish some of them to be better fed for the moment at the expense of many years probably of worse food to the majority; for, in the end, all classes will suffer together. For this reason, I certainly shall not vote in favour of the Bill; but, in deference to the views so strongly expressed by the deputation, I shall not at this stage vote in favour of the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford. That is to say, I shall not give any vote at all at this particular stage; but I shall certainly endeavour to restore to the Privy Council those functions which a Privy Council is bound to exercise, and which would enable it to determine whether cattle shall be removed from the ports with a clean bill of health or not. I ask myself the question, why this Bill is accepted and advocated in this modified form? and I know why. The Government now in Office claims to be essentially the farmer's friend. The farmers have had three very bad seasons, and it is necessary that some of the promises that have been made to them should be at least in name fulfilled. Farmers are not always very good reasoners; I can understand a conversation taking place between them, in which one would say to the other that the epidemics by which their cattle were destroyed were brought into the country by those "nasty foreign cattle." The Government answer—"We cannot quite keep all foreign cattle out, but we can do the next best thing—we can kill them as soon as they come within our shores and thereby give you some increase in the price of your own cattle." That argument has been used in Ireland, and I have no doubt that it has also been used in England; but I warn my countrymen that this Bill will be followed by other Bills which will treat Ireland as a foreign country, in the way in which it was treated in the Bill originally introduced into the House of Lords by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon.


said, he was not at all in that isolated condition that his hon. and learned Friend (Sir William Harcourt) depicted. Setting aside the observations with which the hon. and learned Gentleman had amused himself, he did not think the Government had any right to complain of the tone of this debate. Assisted by the right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment, Party element had been entirely eliminated from the debate; and the Bill, as he ventured to think, although discussed at some length, had been discussed entirely upon its merits. There were certain points which had been introduced, to which he should like to refer. First of all, he could not help expressing his satisfaction that the right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment moved it really to raise a debate, and expressed his approval of many of the provisions of the Bill; but, besides stating that there were some provisions of the Bill with which he was satisfied, the right hon. Gentleman said that if it were proved— and he ventured to think it would be proved—that slaughter at the ports of landing was necessary to stamp out disease, it would be the duty of the consumers, as well as their interest, to suffer a temporary loss through the diminution of a foreign supply in the belief that the home supply would be considerably increased. It was because he (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) believed that the Bill would effect that stamping-out process, that he thought his right hon. Friend was bound to support the measure. He was aware that the right hon. Gentleman did not believe that it would do so, and had expressed his opinion that it would increase the price and diminish the supply of meat. The same idea seemed to be impressed upon the minds of many other hon. Members. The hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Rathbone) stated that the Bill would limit the supply of meat, and would, therefore, raise its price to the working classes in a time of difficulty. The hon. Gentleman the junior Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) looked upon the Bill as one which would stamp out the foreign trade in live stock, and, by decreasing the supply, increase the price of meat; while the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Barran) argued that the price of meat had increased lately, and that the foreign supply would be stopped by the Bill, and that the people would be starved, or, at least, would not get meat at the price at which they ought to get it. He ventured to think that all these arguments used by hon. Members opposite were based upon the assumption that the foreign supply formed a large proportion of that upon which the towns they represented depended, and had relied upon for a considerable time, and, further, that under the Bill, that supply would be stopped. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bradford stated that the foreign supply represented 12½ per cent of the whole supply brought to the market in this country.


observed, that he had stated that in these calculations he had rather under than over-estimated the percentage.


had understood his right hon. Friend to say that the figures ranged from 5 per cent on the one hand, to 15 per cent on the other, and that he took the mean between the two, The House should remember, in looking at this question of the foreign supply, what portion of it was swallowed up by the Metropolis. It had been stated by his right hon. Friend that for some time the supply of foreign beasts to London had amounted to from 40 to 45 per cent of the total importation. Now, the total number of animals in Great Britain in 1877, as reported by the Inspectors, was 36,357,895. One-fourth of that number would come into the market each year, according to the calculation which had been made, and had been accepted by several hon. Members, and would represent 9,890,000. There came into London in the year 981,000, so that there would remain 8,909,000 to be consumed by the rest of the country. The total of the foreign importation was 1,090,000 for the same year. Of these, there were slaughtered 827,488 in the London market, so there remained 168,803 to be carried into the country. That gave a little over 2 per cent of the foreign supply for consumption in the towns over the country, and represented the loss in the supply which they would suffer if the foreign supply entirely ceased. He would refer to the evidence upon that point given by witnesses before the Committee. Mr. Lambert, cattle salesman at Manchester, described that town as dependent, to a certain extent, upon foreign sheep; but as receiving hardly any import of foreign cattle. In the case of Glasgow, it would be found in the same Return, that the foreign cattle introduced for some years had been entirely Canadian and American, and that the only foreign animal imported there last year was one Indian pig. Much the same history was reported from Liverpool, in which the larger portion of the supply had also come from America and Canada. From the figures he had quoted, it would be seen that the effect of the stoppage of the foreign supply would not be as the hon. Members for Liverpool and Salford had stated, and the towns in the country would not by the stoppage of the foreign trade be deprived of their present supply. With regard to what fell from the hon. Member for Liverpool, as to the establishment of a market in a place where there was no possibility of one being created, he hardly seemed to appreciate the facts. From the information which had reached him, he might state that at Birkenhead a large available locality, consisting of unoccupied ground, in immediate communication with the docks, had been found to exist. There was no doubt that it could be turned into one of the finest landing places in the world. He should like now to ask the House what had been, for some time past, the real facts of the case with regard to this foreign supply? Since January, 1877, till the present time—about 18 months—the importation of cattle had been entirely prohibited from Germany, Belgium, and Russia. Sheep from Germany, Belgium and Cronstadt, had been slaughtered at the port of debarkation, and all the sheep, with the exception of 44,000, coming from Denmark, Spain, and Portugal, had likewise been slaughtered. They had, therefore, been dependent for the whole supply of sheep, with the exception he had stated, upon that slaughtered at the ports, and the American supply that had come in. In introducing the measure to the House, evidence was quoted to show that for a very considerable period this trade had been carried on at a time when all sheep imported from Germany, and other foreign countries, had been slaughtered at the port of debarkation. He would ask the House to remember that that supply had come in to these inland towns, notwithstanding the slaughter at the ports. The whole argument on the other side was founded on the assumption that the supply from foreign countries would be absolutely stopped, yet for 18 months, as he had shown, they had had a constant supply. Indeed, a much larger supply had come in from Germany than before. Last year 162,000 more sheep came in from Germany than in any previous year. If that were the case, as these figures showed, and the trade had increased, notwithstanding the slaughter at the ports, how was it possible to say that the trade would be injured? What the Bill would do away with was the uncertainty, which everyone admitted was a detriment to the trade, and when that was done away with, and an absolute certainty of slaughter at the ports existed, it might be justly assumed that the trade would increase considerably over what it now was. As witnesses had stated before the Committee, it was because of the great uncertainty whether cattle would go into the market or would not, that butchers kept away from the market; but when the supply was guaranteed, a trade would arise, which would secure a certain supply for slaughter at the ports. With respect to the dead meat trade, he would refer to the fact that in 1876 13,000 cattle, representing a value of £748,000, were imported from America, and that in 1877, the number of cattle had increased to 30,000, with a value of £1,670,000. That increase showed that the trade in dead meat was not a declining or an unremunerative one; while, from the evidence before the Committee, it was clear that it was, to a certain extent, in its infancy. To show that the dead meat, when properly preserved, would bear the test of travel in this country, an importer had carried a quarter from Liverpool to London along with a quarter of fresh meat, and he found that the American meat bore exposure to the air better than the English meat. There was evidence on all hands that when the trade was brought into something like a satisfactory condition by proper arrangements being made, it would be found possible to bring over meat to compete with the home supply of this country. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Playfair) admitted that it was possible, and even probable, that the method of bringing dead meat from America might be improved; and, although he doubted whether it could be kept or carried in this country, it must not be assumed that it would be long before the enterprize of Englishmen devised a process to enable it to be carried in the country. That, he ventured to think, would in future be the condition of their foreign supply, and if they added to that the increase in their flocks and herds at home in consequence of stamping out disease, then the result must be a very large increase in the total supply. With regard to the increase in home stock, it depended upon whether the disease could be stamped out. The hon. Member for Birmingham, and others, had argued that it was indigenous here, and he believed it was beyond dispute that foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia were in this country in 1839 and 1840, before the trade in foreign animals began in 1842; but Professor Simonds showed that they were brought in by ships' stores at Stratford, and spread eastward. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Lyon Play-fair) had inferred that the inspection of cattle was so efficient that no disease could occur in England save through the home supply. He challenged him (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), as far as he remembered, to show a single instance in which cattle had passed the veterinary inspection at the port of landing, and become the centre of an outbreak of the disease in England. Now, being challenged in that way, suddenly, it was not always easy to find an answer to the allegation; but luckily, or rather unhappily, for him, there was a case in his own county, which was the very sort the right hon. Gentleman wanted to meet his question. The instance was one of a farmer who lived at Romford. He had a herd of 62 cattle, and through the agency of an importer, named Honck, he imported 40 in-calf Dutch cows, which were landed at Thames Haven, and passed the veterinary Inspector. They were sent by rail to his farm without being brought into contact with any other animals. They were placed in entirely separate fields from the other stock, and two days after they arrived they were found to be suffering from foot-and-mouth disease. The most disastrous results followed, and, as a result, the gentleman to whom he referred, Mr. Preston, sold off all his stock, ceased to be a breeder, and kept only enough cattle to supply his house. There could be no doubt about this case, as it had come to him from a quarter on which he could rely. Therefore he answered the right hon. Gentleman by saying that here was a case of disease which had certainly passed the Inspector, and which had been the means of producing disastrous results. All that the Bill proposed to do was to put an end to the spread of disease by slaughter at the port of debarkation. Of course, the measure might not be as strong as some desired; but it had been framed as it now stood in deference to the He-port of the Select Committee in "another place." He considered, however, that the clauses which had been so much attacked were, after all, far more stringent than many hon. Members imagined. In the first place, as far as home restriction was concerned, they got rid of that want of uniformity in regulations which now prevailed among local anthorities, and which, no doubt, had led to the spread of disease in past years. In the next place, although the noble Lord opposite (Lord Frederick Cavendish) had declared that all restrictions against foot-and-mouth disease had been abandoned, that certainly was not so. To prove his assertion, he would point to the 30th clause of the Bill, by which the Privy Council might make such Orders as they might from time to time think fit. In fact, if the noble Lord had looked at the clauses, he would have seen that the Privy Council had power to lay down rules not only for the regulation of markets and fairs, but for the regulation of the passing and movement of infected animals, or animals from infected districts. They were, further, empowered to declare that a district consisted of lands adjoining an infected place, or to enlarge the meaning of the word "district" or "place," should they consider that to be necessary. He desired to remind the House that the Committee had before them Professor Müller, from Germany, and what did he show? Why, that the German Government did not attempt to get rid of these diseases, and he said, if it was to be got rid of in England, the imports must be restricted, or slaughter at the port of landing decided upon. He maintained that the Bill before the House contained an earnest and genuine attempt to stamp out the diseases with which it was designed to deal. It had been shown conclusively that slaughter at the port of debarkation was the only way of stamping out disease. He hoped sincerely the Bill would be passed. He believed that the regulations as to the home supply were sufficient to keep the disease in check, and the slaughter of foreign animals at the ports of debarkation would not interfere with the foreign supply. He believed the consumers in large towns would find that the bugbear of a limited supply of meat only existed in the minds of politicians of that House. All that the Bill proposed was this. Instead of protecting the farmer, it had as its desire to prevent and destroy disease, and thus, in the end, make meat cheap and plentiful.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 319; Noes 162: Majority 157.

Acland, Sir T. D. Cavendish, Lord G.
Agnew, R. V. Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.
Alexander, Colonel Chaine, J.
Allen, Major Chaplin, Colonel E.
Allsopp, C. Chaplin, H.
Allsopp, H. Cholmeley, Sir H.
Anstruther, Sir W. Christie, W. L.
Arbuthnot, Lt.-Col. G. Churchill, Lord R.
Archdale, W. H. Clive, Col. hon. G. W.
Arkwright, A. P. Close, M. C.
Arkwright, F. Clowes, S. W.
Ashbury, J. L. Cole, Col. hon. H. A.
Assheton, R. Collins, E.
Astley, Sir J. D. Colman, J. J.
Bagge, Sir W. Conyngham, Lord F.
Bailey, Sir, J. R. Corry, hon. H. W. L.
Balfour, Sir G. Corry, J. P.
Barclay, A. C. Cotes, C. C.
Barclay, J. W. Cotton, W. J. R.
Baring, T. C. Cowper, hon. H. F.
Barrington, Viscount Crichton, Viscount
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Cross, rt. hon. R. A.
Beach, rt. hon. Sir M. H. Cubitt, G.
Beach, W. W. B. Cust, H. C.
Beaumont, W. B. Dalkeith, Earl of
Bective, Earl of Denison, W. B.
Benett-Stanford, V. F. Denison, W. E.
Bentinck, rt. hon. G. C. Dickson, Major A. G.
Bentinck, G. W. P. Digby, Col. hon. E.
Beresford, G. De la P. Duff, J.
Biddulph, M. Duff, R. W.
Blackburne, Col. J. I. Dunbar, J.
Blake, T. Dundas, J. C.
Boord, T. W. Dyott, Colonel R.
Bourke, hon. R. Eaton, H. W.
Bourne, Colonel Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W.
Bousfield, Colonel
Bowen, J. B. Egerton, hon. A. F.
Brassey, H. A. Egerton, hon. W.
Brise, Colonel R. Elliot, Sir G.
Broadley, W. H. H. Elliot, G. W.
Brooks, W. C. Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H.
Browne, G. E. Emlyn, Viscount
Bruce, hon. T. Errington, G.
Bruen, H. Estcourt, G. S.
Brymer, W. E. Evans, T. W.
Bulwer, J. R. Fay, C. J.
Burghley, Lord Fellowes, E.
Burrell, Sir W. W. Finch, G. H.
Buxton, Sir R. J. Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W.
Cameron, D.
Campbell, C. Forester, C. T. W.
Castlereagh, Viscount Foster, W. H.
Cave, rt. hon. S. Fremantle, hon. T. F.
Adam, rt. hn. W. P. Cordes, T.
Allen, W. S. Courtney, L. H.
Amory, Sir J. H. Cowan, J.
Anderson, G. Cowen, J.
Ashley, hon. E. M. Cross, J. K.
Barran, J. Davies, D.
Bass, A. Davies, R.
Baxter, rt. hn. W. E. Delahunty, J.
Bazley, Sir T. Dilke, Sir C. W.
Biggar, J. G. Dillwyn, L. L.
Brassey, T. Dodson, rt. hon. J. G,
Briggs, W. E. Duff, M. E. G.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Edwards, H.
Bright, rt. hon. J. Egerton, Admiral hn. F.
Bristowe, S. B. Fawcett, H.
Brown, A. H. Ferguson, R.
Brown, J. C. Forster, Sir C.
Burt, T. Forster, rt. hon. W. E.
Cameron, C. Giles, A.
Campbell, Sir G. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Campbell-Bannerman, H. Gladstone, W. H.
Gorst, J. E.
Cave, T. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Gourley, E. T.
Chamberlain, J. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Chambers, Sir T. Grant, A.
Charley, W. T. Gray, E. D.
Childers, rt. hon. H. Greenall, Sir G.
Clifford, C. C. Grey, Earl de
Cole, H. T. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Colebrooke, Sir T, E. Harcourt, Sir W. V.

Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow, at Two of the clock.

French, hon. C. Legh, W. J.
Freshfield, C. K. Leighton, Sir B.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. Leighton, S.
Galway, Viscount Lennox, Lord H. G.
Gardner, J. T. Agg- Leslie, Sir J.
Gardner, R. Richard-son- Lewis, C. E.
Lewisham, Viscount
Garnier, J. C. Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Gathorne-Hardy, hn. A. Lloyd, T. E.
Gathorne-Hardy. hn. S. Lopes, Sir M.
Gibson, rt. hon. E. Lorne, Marquess of
Giffard, Sir H. S. Lowther, hon. W.
Gilpin, Sir R. T. Lowther, rt. hon. J.
Goddard, A. L. Macartney, J. W. E.
Goldney, G. Macduff, Viscount
Gooch, Sir D. Mac Iver, D.
Gordon, Sir A. M'Lagan, P.
Gordon, Lord D. Maitland, W. F.
Gordon, W. Majendie, L. A.
Gore-Langton, W. S. Makins, Colonel
Grantham, W. Malcolm, J. W.
Greene, E. Mandeville, Viscount
Gregory, G. B. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Hall, A. W. March, Earl of
Halsey, T. F. Marten, A. G.
Hamilton, Lord C. J. Master, T. W. C.
Hamilton, I. T. Merewether, C. G.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. Mills, Sir C. H.
Monckton, F.
Hamilton, Marquess of Montgomerie, R.
Hamilton, hon. R. B. Montgomery, Sir G. G.
Hanbury, R. W. Moore, S.
Hankey, T. Moray, Colonel H. D.
Harcourt, E. W. Morgan, hon. F.
Hardcastle, E. Mow bray, rt. hon. J. R.
Harvey, Sir R. B. Mulholland, J.
Hay, rt. hn. Sir J. C. D. Muncaster, Lord
Helmsley, Viscount Murphy, N. D.
Herbert, hon. S. Newdegate, C. N.
Hermon, E. Newport, Viscount
Hervey, Lord F. Noel, rt, hon. G. J.
Heygate, W. U. Nolan, Major
Hick, J. North, Colonel
Hildyard, T. B. T. Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H.
Hill, A. S.
Holford, J. P. G. O'Beirne, Major
Holker, Sir J. O'Brien, Sir P.
Holland, Sir H. T. O'Neill, hon. E.
Holmesdale, Viscount Onslow, D.
Home, Captain O'Sullivan, W. H.
Hood, Captain hon. A. W. A. N. Palk, Sir L.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W.
Hope, A. J. B. B. Pell, A.
Howard, E. S. Pender, J.
Hubbard, E. Pennant, hon. G.
Jervis, Colonel Peploe, Major
Johnson, J. G. Percy, Earl
Johnstone, Sir F. Phipps, P.
Johnstone, Sir H. Pim, Captain B.
Jolliffe, hon. S. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Jones, J. Plunkett, hon. R.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Polhill-Turner, Capt.
King-Harman, E. R. Portman, hon. W. H. B,
Kingscote, Colonel Powell, W.
Knight, F. W. Praed, C. T.
Knightley, Sir R. Praed, H. B.
Knowles, T. Price, Captain
Lacon, Sir E. H. K. Read, C. S.
Laing, S. Redmond, W. A.
Learmonth, A. Rendlesham, Lord
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. Repton, G. W.
Lee, Major V. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Legard, Sir C. Ritchie, C. T.
Rodwell, B. B. H. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Round, J. Temple, right hon. W. Cowper-
Russell, Sir C.
Ryder, G. R. Thornhill, T.
Sackville, S. G. S. Thynne, Lord H. F.
St. Aubyn, Sir J. Tollemache, hon. W. F.
Salt, T. Torr, J.
Sandon, Viscount Tremayne, J.
Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G. Tumor, E.
Scott, Lord H. Verner, E. W.
Scott, M. D. Vivian, A. P.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J. Vivian, H. H.
Wait, W. K.
Severne, J. E. Walker, T. E.
Shaw, W. Wallace, Sir R.
Sheil, E. Walpole, rt. hon. S.
Smith, A. Walsh, hon. A.
Smith, F. C. Warburton, P. E.
Smith, S. G. Watson, rt. hon. W.
Smith, rt. hn. W. H. Welby-Gregory, Sir W.
Smyth, P. J. Wellesley, Colonel
Smollett, P. B. Wells, E.
Somerset, Lord H. R. G. Wethered, T. O.
Stafford, Marquess of Whitelaw, A.
Stanhope, hon. E. Williams, Sir F. M.
Stanhope, W. T. W. S. Wilmot, Sir H.
Stanley, rt. hn. Col. F. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Starkey, L. R. Wilson, W.
Starkie, J. P. C. Woodd, B. T.
Steere, L. Wroughton, P.
Stewart, M. J. Wynn, C. W. W.
Storer, G. Yarmouth, Earl of
Sullivan, A. M. Yorke, J. R.
Sykes, C. Young, A. W.
Synan, E. J.
Talbot, C. R. M. TELLERS.
Talbot, J. G. Dyke, Sir W. H.
Tavistock, Marquess of Winn, R.
Taylor, D.
Harrison, C. O'Gorman, P.
Harrison, J. F. Otway, A. J.
Hartington, Marq. of Palmer, G.
Havelock, Sir H. Parker, C. S.
Hayter, A. D. Pease, J. W.
Herschell, F. Pennington, F.
Hibbert, J. T. Perkins, Sir F.
Hill, T. R. Philips, R, N.
Holland, S. Playfair, rt. hon. L.
Holms, J. Plimsoll, S.
Hopwood, C. H. Potter, T. B.
Howard, hon. C. Power, R.
Hughes, W. B. Ramsay, J.
Hutchinson, J. D. Rathbone, W.
Ingram, W. J. Ripley, H. W.
Jackson, Sir H. M. Robertson, H.
James, Sir H. Russell, Lord A.
James, W. H. Samuda, J. D'A.
Jenkins, D. J. Samuelson, B.
Jenkins, E. Sanderson, T. K.
Kay - Shuttleworth, Sir U. Seely, C.
Sheridan, H. B.
Kennard, Colonel Shute, General
Kensington, Lord Sidebottom, T. H.
Leatham, E. A. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Lefevre, G. J. S. Smith, E.
Leith, J. F. Spinks, Mr. Serjeant
Lloyd, M. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Locke, J. Stanton, A. J.
Lowe, rt. hon. R. Stevenson, J. C.
Lubbock, Sir J. Stewart, J.
Lush, Dr. Swanston, A.
Lusk, Sir A. Taylor, P. A.
Mackintosh, C. F. Tennant, R.
M'Arthur, A. Thwaites, D.
M'Arthur, W. Torrens, W. T. M'C.
M'Kenna, Sir J. N. Tracy, hon. F. S. A. Hanbury-
M'Laren, D.
Maitland, J. Trevelyan, G. O.
Marling, S. S. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Massey, rt. hon. W. N. Waddy, S. D.
Mellor, T. W. Walker, O. O.
Middleton, Sir A. E. Walter, J.
Monk, C. J. Watkin, Sir E. W.
Moore, A. Whitworth, B.
Morgan, G. O. Williams, B. T.
Morley, S. Williams, W.
Mundella, A. J. Wilson, C.
Muntz, P. H. Yeaman, J.
Naghten, Lt.-Colonel Noel, E. TELLERS.
O'Conor, D. M. Peel, A. W.
O'Conor Don, The Rylands, P.
O'Donoghue, The

Main Question put, and agreed to.